Want to know more about timebanking? We chatted to member and timebank user Hannah Roast
Hi Hannah! Could you introduce yourself and tell us what do you do and what you are up to at the moment?
Hi! My name’s Hannah. I’m a freelance artist / illustrator with a background in fine art. At the moment my time is split between Free Hand, social media for Sharrow Lantern Festival and freelance commissions. Have a look at my Guild profile if you would like to see my work or say hello.
Tell us about your first experience with timebanking. How did it come about and what services were you trading?
I exchanged one time banking credit for one hour of job application advice.
Recently a job came up for a Programming Assistant at an art gallery. It was exactly the sort of job I'd been waiting to come up - but I was worried I that my application wasn’t up to scratch.
I knew that if I wanted feedback on my application before the deadline I would need to get someone’s advice asap, so I searched the member profiles for 'Writing A Job Application’ and a few people popped up, including Jane Shields. I had met Jane at a timebanking workshop last year. As we’d already met I picked her as I felt like I could trust her to be on the ball and get back to me.
I emailed Jane and suggested I the trade. I also explained that the application deadline was on Wednesday so ideally I needed feedback by Monday in time to make any changes. Jane agreed and when she emailed it back on Monday she had thoroughly gone through every detail with comments, tips and questions, as well as edits which were highlighted so I could see what changes had been suggested and choose which edits I wanted keep and which edits to ignore.
I emailed my thanks, transferred her the credit and sent the application off, it was all so simple!
Will you use the Timebank again?
Yes! Having done it once I know that I can always just go to the member page and search for skills I need, it is so handy!
I use Photoshop a lot but I’m keen to get to grips with all the Adobe packages and I think the time bank could definitely be useful for that. I also want to have a go at some things I’ve never tried before - maybe dance, or storytelling!
Do you feel time banking has been a profitable or useful way for you to build your creative enterprises?
Definitely. Even if I don’t get the job, I know I have a good solid application that I can trot out as a template if a similar vacancy crops up.
It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes look over your work - it helped me and focused my writing. It was also a huge time saver for me. Personally I find job applications so time consuming and soul destroying! It would have taken me easily a day to make the changes that she spotted in a hour.
What do you have to say to Guild members who haven't used the timebank yet?
Just go to the members page, search for a skill and have a snoop on people’s profiles. Pick a service, write a brief email and just get the ball rolling, hit SEND and figure out the details together from there.
If you’re not 100% sure about contacting someone you’ve not met before, come to a Guild event and meet some other members face to face - you never know if you’ll bump into someone who can help you out, or point you in the right direction. The more people you make contact with the easier it will be to figure who you want to work with, how and why, whether as a timebank exchange or in exchange for money.
There’s no obligation to use the timebank, so you can always just organise a meet up and chat before arranging any timebank stuff. It’s all flexible, so you can make it work for you.