When I announced that I'd be taking on a part time, remote position with Winning Edits a two weeks ago, I was bracing myself for the feelings of anxiety and dread that I've often associated with being an employee. I'm not sure why, but for the longest time I've thought that going back to a job would mean that I was no longer an independent creative. I was afraid that it would feel like a step back to a time when I was creatively unfulfilled and had reached my limit of office politics.
Yet, here we are a week into this new way of working and I haven't felt any of those things — not even once. Sure, there will be a learning curve and I'm easing my way back into a team dynamic, but that's a good thing. Additionally, I think the supportive comments, emails and conversations that followed my announcement affirmed what my logical side had been telling me all along: it's not the having of the job that's an issue, it's the type of job and all that comes with it that hadn't felt right until now.
You see, the conditions of my new job are fairly ideal. I get to work from wherever I am in the world, I get to collaborate using technology that didn't even exist the last time I had an employer, the job is part time and I still get to pursue other work. In fact, pursuing other work is seen as a positive thing as long as there's no conflict of interest. I think that's a big part of why I'm feeling so good about the decision to sign on with an employer again.
I'm a curious person, by nature. I love to ask people questions. I may be an introvert who shies away from asking a question in the heat of a discussion, but rest assured, I'm likely ruminating on something you said. I'm the girl who emails you follow up questions because I just can't help myself.
When I told people outside of my podcast/web/blog/entrepreneurship world about the job, many wondered why on Earth I wouldn't simply sign on full time and scrap my freelance work and passion projects altogether. After being slightly horrified at the thought of giving up the things I've grown to love, I'd respond with something like, "but then I'd only get to ask a specific type of person a specific set of questions."
That just wouldn't do.
I can't imagine giving up (or cutting back on) my podcast. There are far too many amazing creatives out there who haven't told me (or you) their stories yet. I can't fathom passing up the opportunity to dive in to interesting regional business stories (like the Comstock's magazine article pictured above—go snag the July issue if you're in the Sacramento area!). I would also never want to give up on pitching stories to the publications of my dreams.
Thinking through all of this, of course, makes me curious about you. Is there something that you simply can't imagine giving up—even if it makes you zero dollars? Heck, especially if it makes you zero dollars?
Let's talk about it in the comment section below, but first I want to offer my two cents:
If you're curious, keep at it. If you want to try something new just to see if it works, try it. If you want to say yes to something that sounds crazy, but just might be awesome — I say go for it.
We're all coming at this whole career thing with varied perspectives and backgrounds, but there's no harm in trying. How else are we supposed to find what lights us up?
So, tell me: what lights you up, my friends?