As a brand photographer, and a commercial photographer, I spend most of my working life with businesses and the people who run them.

A shot from a personal branding photography session with One of Many life and business coach Tabitha Pascoe, who sits at her desk with an open book, smiling.

They come in all kinds of varieties – running a business is definitely not a one size fits all pursuit – but one of the things almost all of them have in common is not wanting a standard, 9-5, five days a week, soul-sucking standard work routine. 

They are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, but whether they are a solopreneur or running a massive organisation, one of the things they all value highly is flexibility. 

An image from a personal branding shoot with property sourcer Jasmine Doidge, who is sitting at her desk behind her laptop, with her daughter sitting under the desk

Whether it’s for children, hobbies, caring, splitting time between a job and a business, or just not wanting to be told when you’re allowed to do things, this much-longed-for freedom comes up in so many conversations. 

I needed to rename my community and the monthly(ish) email which goes with it for a few reasons – firstly, it always bugged me that their names didn’t go together.

Secondly, the community has long since outgrown the name Business Soloists – we have so many amazing business owners who are soloists, duos, family businesses and bigger organisations, and they all fit in with the ethos, if not the name. 

A fine art fairytale image of a girl with dark curly hair, wearing a chiffon skirt and lace top, holding some lavender in front of her

 And lastly, I wanted to repurpose Letters from Studio 19 for my art photography, which has been undergoing big shifts, and which I have exciting plans for in 2020. 

So why The Improper Job Collective? 

The Improper Job Collective header, with tropical flowers either side of the words

Excellent question! Well, last summer my lovely friend M came over during the week, both of us revelling in the freedom to meet up on a Tuesday, and we were putting the world to rights over pink lemonade in my garden. The talk turned to work, businesses, side hustles and jobs. 

“Everyone expects me to get a Proper Job,” said M. “I don’t want one of those, I want…” 

and we said together, in glorious harmony, “AN IMPROPER JOB” and fell about laughing. 

A photo from a personal branding photography session with Louise Rose Couture. Louise is standing at her pattern cutting table, measuring a sewing pattern to cut out. She's wearing a polka dot top and has a tape measure around her neck, and her overlocker is visible in the background.

More than a year on, searching for the perfect name for my beautiful collection of misfits, who all work hard and who all have a different definition of what they want work to look like for them, the memory of this conversation came and hit me over the head. 

And so the Improper Job Collective was born. Already convinced? You can visit it over on Facebook.

A woman sits on a wooden sofa, wearing jeans and high heels.

It’s for you if you feel like the traditional world of work is a complete headfuck. 

It’s for you if you have, or are longing for, a business, side hustle, portfolio career or job which fits you, not some old-school box. 

It’s for you if you are trying to build your own working life against the insistent drone of one-job-for-life pushers. 

And it’s for you if you don’t want a Proper Job because you’d rather just earn some money to pursue all the other fun stuff in your life, or you want to homeschool your child, or you really cannot be fucked with office politics. 

It already feels like it fits well, and I hope you love it too. 

Come on in – the water’s lovely! Click here to hop over & join us!