It’s been a year now since I’ve worked for a company. When I think about my life then, I realize there are things I miss like the steady paycheck and benefits. But aside from that, when I think about the actual work, I am so grateful for where I am now. Yesterday I came to the realization that it’s not necessarily that I dislike conventional careers, but that so many of them don’t allow us to be creative. I realized that for me, there is importance to creating.
I love to learn, to read, to discover, but once I started working I stopped doing all of these things. In this past year since leaving my prior career, I have done more of this than I have in the last 9 years of holding conventional jobs. I see myself growing and evolving as a person, not just in my career. At the end of the day, I think this is something that we all want and something we aren’t finding in the jobs we hold. This is probably the main reason so many of us are leaving the traditional work world to start our own endeavors.
The Joy of Creating
When I started freelance writing, I wanted to write about topics that were important to me — health and wellness, self-discovery and parenting. In the last few months, however most of my articles have been about issues in the workplace. Not necessarily the glamourous areas I pictured myself writing about. I could sit back, sulk and wonder why I’m writing about such mundane topics, but instead I’m allowing myself to enjoy it.
I get to pitch ideas that I create completely on my own. Once these ideas are accepted, I create the entire article from beginning to end. Sure, the editor may add in her own advice, but at the end of the day, I get to point to these articles and say that I created them. These are my works of art. Whether they are about ordering lunch in the workplace or about the wonders of discovering who you truly are, I enjoy it all because at the heart of all it I am creating, learning, and discovering.
Life on Your Terms
I believe the conventional workplace will change. I don’t know how long it will take, but we’ve already seen it happening. More people working remotely, more people with flexible schedules. Aside from these benefits, I believe the work itself will change as well. Sure, there will always be people who want to simply be told what to do, get their work done and leave. But for the majority of us, we want the ability to be creative, to find new ways of doing things, and to evolve.
At the end of the day, what we really want, or what I truly wanted, was not necessarily to work for myself. What I wanted was to feel like I had a role in creating the life I desired. This includes my career life. It just so happens that working for myself is the way that I feel most able to do this at this time.