A Freelancer’s Journey To Finding Purpose
After working for several small and startup marketing agencies, Catherine (Cat) Trestini traded traditional office hours for freelance work with We Are Rosie and says it “was the best decision I’ve ever made.” Making the switch to full-time freelance wasn’t necessarily something she had in mind when she kicked off her career. Instead, it was something she enthusiastically embraced once she began to experience the benefits of working on interesting projects with different groups of talented people in an environment that was conducive to their individual work styles.
We Are Rosie’s freelance model is revolutionary to the ad industry. Cat says, “at first, the concept of a freelancer’s network was something entirely new to me. I almost thought, how can this work? But it does. Companies need and do seriously use freelancers, and [fearless leader] Stephanie is one of the few people out there making it happen.” Cat believes this model is the future of advertising and “things don’t have to be as they’ve always been, We Are Rosie proves that.”
So, what would cause a successful woman to give up the perceived security of a full-time job in the first place? As a self-proclaimed ambitious self-starter, Cat already knew she thrived in freelance work—having worked as a freelance photographer, writer, and tutor in the past—but it was a string of “several dysfunctional and unsatisfying work situations [in the marketing industry] that made the jump totally intentional.” Since then, she’s learned that “doing things on my own, my way, could be just as effective (income, results, and relationship wise) as working in an office.”
Cat’s first We Are Rosie project was with a team of nine people who were based around the country. Cat shares, “I was so nervous, but I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.” Despite being miles apart, freelance collaboration works and the connections are real. She confides that “communication is key: we had tons of phone calls and Slack messages. It just reminded me of the many successful and admirable remote teams out there working together.” Cat has worked on several We Are Rosie projects since that first one and she says, “every experience feels like the first day of school or the first day of a new job. I can work with different agencies, doing different projects, with new team members. I love learning something new and building connections, so it’s been very fulfilling and it helps me to have confidence in myself.” About We Are Rosie, Cat adds that it’s not just a space for freelancers, “it’s really a community of friends who are passionate about work and life.”
Working from home or without an office full of people seems like it could create a void of personal contacts, but Cat says that’s not the case. “I love the business relationships I’ve built and the projects I’ve worked on. I’m constantly learning and working with people directly.” She also regularly keeps in touch with several of her remote coworkers-turned-friends and gets ahold of them looking for advice, talking over projects, or just to send funny videos back and forth. “I really think it’s extremely progressive and overdue for the rest of the world. I’m so glad we did and are doing this.”