What is your definition of a successful career?
I want you to think about that for a bit.
I thought about this a lot. Well, maybe not so much on the "successful" part. More on the career part. I thought about that a whole lot while sitting behind my desk in a uneventful, uninspiring, corporate 9-5 environment. It sucked the life out of me. I was drained...
I listened to an interesting podcast (Mindvalley Podcast) recently where they offered a 5 part framework for identifying your "perfect career":
- You must feel good doing what you do, feed your soul, this helps you grow
- The career should be purposeful, impactful
- There should be no income ceiling, your own desire sets your limit
- The career should offer you "time freedom", this gives your mind space
- Must be fun and easy
I think these are great guidelines. Obviously everyone has their own set of guidelines, their own framework to build upon, but as an individual you can use such mental models to help navigate and justify the choices you make along your path.
Back to the office. I was drained. I couldn't think straight. I wanted out. It wasn't right. It didn't "click".
It's a terrifying experience when you're caught up in the moment but I knew deep down there must be another path for me.
So what did I do? I quit my job.
Fortunately I was in a position where I could afford to do this and not worry about the utility bills for the foreseeable future. But what next? I wasn't going to just sit at home and scratch my ...
I took the time to catch up on my to-do list. There were some important items on there. I'm glad I finally had the time to clean that up. All along the way the "career" thoughts were bouncing around in my head. I thought that it was very important to stay positive, to jot down any positive thoughts I had in order to build upon at a future date.
I also began to list off things that I liked doing, things I could see myself doing with or without the money. Things like:
- writing stories
- making music
- editing audio
- doing artwork
- shooting videos
- taking photos
- helping others
- learning about technology
In my new found liberty, I found myself being interrogated occasionally upon my choices, and what future plans I had in store. Was this a break? What was my future job title? When am I going back to the office?
Voluntarily leaving your job and having literally nothing ahead of you can lead to a sort of identity crisis. It's not for the faint of heart. I realised that I had no identity outside of my family structure. As vacuous as this may sound, it is indeed a most liberating experience.
"What's in a name?" Well nothing really, that's what I had always thought when working in corporate environments and seeing how certain people cloaked in a specific job titles delivered less-than-par results. As an employee you are smothered by this textual cloak that defines your worth within a given corporate structure. It's a hard pill to swallow. It's not my name. It's not my title. I'm just here for the money, basically.
I won't get into the nitty-gritty here, but I was put into a position where I had to announce my future employment plans, as I had clearly stated that I had no intention of remaining unemployed in the medium-long term. I was stumped. I knew I wanted to do something new, but I just couldn't come up with a name.
Then it dawned upon me. It was time to create my own title. Cloak myself in a cloth of my own making. But what...
I listed off the topics that interested me most:
What was it that they had in common? Well they were forms of Media. That's a start. But I was more than just a median or a medium.
Wasn't there something else? Remote work, that was something I came to enjoy during the Covid pandemic. It allowed me to flourish. Once again, I saw a trend forming: Digital. These media forms were becoming more and more digital.
Give me a laptop, some space to let my creativity flow and hey presto: here's some digital media for you to consume.
So I had my sector - the digital media space. It was wide and interesting enough to keep me curious and content. But what about myself, the individual. Was I meant to crawl back up to the office front door and suit up as their digital media assistant/officer/strategist or whatever nouns they come up with these days?
No. It was time to take this battle on head first. I wanted to give this my best shot. I wanted to scout out my own opportunities and do things on my schedule. I was going freelance. I was a Freelancer.
It all came together so smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved at the same time. I entitled myself a Digital Media Freelancer.
Let's take a quick look at that 5 part framework once again. Does it fit my new career path as a Digital Media Freelancer?
- Feel good doing what you do - I built my career around the topics that interest me most
- Purposeful, impactful - More on that soon, but I want to help others find their way!
- No income ceiling - An online global audience can unlock infinitely more potential than the employee benefits designed by a corporation
- Time freedom - Freelancing online gives me the possibility to manage my priorities and set my time schedule as I want
- Fun and easy - I was already doing this without the money!
At a certain point though, you need to take action. You need to create momentum. All the knowledge and planning in the world is meaningless unless you put that into motion and take action.
So with never ending list of goals, intentions and projects I'm jumping into the deep end and making the first moves.
If you're passionate about digital media, whether that be blogging online, making music, uploading videos, recording podcasts, whatever then come connect with @dmfcast where we showcase the hustlers and grinders in this rapidly evolving online content economy. Stay tuned as Publish0x and Twitter is jus the beginning...
Signing out for now,
Digital Media Freelancer