Chances are that when you were little, someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up.
You might have responded with a gymnast, a champion horse back rider, a veterinarian, or even the President of the United States. (Among others, don’t judge!)
As you got older those answers may have morped into an artist, a photographer, a journalist, a stylist. Something indicative of your passion for creative freedom and that cute photography teacher you had in high school.
What you likely did not respond with was a garment folder, a copy maker, or a human voicemail machine, (unless you did…which in that case, party on with your bad self) but in essence those seem to have made an appearance in your day to day routine, and you’re not quite sure how the heck they got there?!
Not only have you noticed the appearance of these less than even remotely creative tasks, assignments, and roles, but you also have struggled with what they mean in regards to your identity. I mean, c’mon people understand that those sweaters don’t fold themselves,right? And that I have to re-fold it every time you muss it up. Yeah. Look, don’t touch.
Instead of being able to keep them separate, we creatives tend to mix the idea of work with the idea of purpose.
The struggle exists with how to wrap our minds around how these everyday tasks and roles offer fulfillment. And when you realize they don’t in any way aid to your sense of purpose, you feel lost, dissapointed, even de-railed. What’s more, you resort to never folding another sweater while not at work ever again, sweaters on hangers at my house thank you very much.
In an effort to gain some clarity you’ve shared your frustrations with your friends and family and although they do likely have your best interests at heart, they just don’t get it.
“But how will you ever make enough money doing that?”
“Would anyone even pay you for that?”
“I know you like X, Y, Z, but are you sure that it’s sustainable?”
“You should just be glad that you have a job in this economy, maybe you should hold out a bit longer”
Although extremely dissuading, it’s ok. It’s not their fault. The desire to do work that truly resonates with you is not something you can easily put into words that will make sense to someone else. Especially when that someone else believes that working a job for the security of a paycheck is just the right thing to do.
They’ve drunk the kool-aid, my friend.
Mainstream corporate America has done a good job of convincing the humble flock that they need the security of a paycheck, employment benefits, and the promise of a sparkling retirement package.
Low and behold that sparkly message full of hope and promise, is turning out to be full of hot air instead.
Gone is job security. Benefits? (Say what? I’ve never had a job that has offered benefits) 401k match? retirement? pension? Those terms are fading fast.
You’re tired of working a job merely for a paycheck… you’re ready to feel inspired, fulfilled, and happy. Connected to some sort of purpose that makes all of the struggle, all of the searching, all of the J-O-Bs you’ve ever worked in the past, totally worth it.
So, what the heck do you do? Where are you supposed to find that?
Quick answer: You don’t find it. You create it.
And it won’t be easy, nothing that is worth it ever is. You will have moments of uncertainty, moments of doubt, moments of frustration (ok hard truth, ‘moments’ may be a bit of an understatement). But you will also be fully in control of what you are creating.
It will be hard work. Anyone telling you any different is lying. But if you do it right…
Gone will be the days when you switch on auto-pilot just to survive
You will be able to dictate your own priorities
You will be living in tune with your values and feeding your creative soul
In addition to the above, you my friend, will know the REAL meaning of job security…
Always being in a position to pivot your offerings to appeal to what your customers want AND need, ensuring you always have buyers
Being directly responsible for your earnings based on how hard YOU work, not what someone else thinks you deserve
No more permission seeking behavior-need a day off, take one. Want to plan your vacation during tax season, do it.
So, take a moment today to get one step closer to realizing what it is that you want to create. Start a blog, set up an Etsy store, join a networking group. Each step you take will provide clarity for the next.
Don’t allow yours or anyone elses fear to stand in your way.
Start now, share in the comments below what your first step will be.
No step is too small, make the decision, take the step, and allow yourself the ability to achieve what you’ve only dared to daydream about whilst stuck at your day job. Make it real, no more daydreaming. You don’t need a job, you need to create your own ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.