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Back to Sydney and another week, another blog post. I wonder… does a second post mean I can officially call myself a blogger? I’ve definitely been rocking the Mac in a cafe look, all like ‘check out me out with my mac in a cafe’ no, wait… more like ‘check out me on my mac, in a hipster cafe, at 2pm in the afternoon, writing my blog post, drinking a hazelnut almond milk chai latte’ Boom. I’m in. Bloggers rejoice.
Someone asked me this week how I was enjoying ”funemployment” – which, if we revert back to my old friend Urban Dictionary – the font of all knowledge – is defined as “a happy time in one’s life when one is not employed and is not wanting to be employed”. But, that’s not me. That’s not really where I’m at. I DO want to be employed, very much so in fact. But, what I want, is to be Fun-Employed. Fun ‘Self-Employed’ if we’re being precise. I want to love what I do. It’s as simple as that. I want to wake up in the morning and be inspired to create something fabulous that truly lights me up inside. And the good news? That feeling is 100% achievable. Just this week (in response to blog#1) I’ve had friends confirm that they love what they do. One even commented that my first post had made her even more grateful for doing what she does. Was I green with envy? Not at all. On the contrary, if someone has found their calling – and there are many of them who have – that’s brilliant. Enjoy it. Live it. Own it.
Many many people will study something straight from school or college and go into a life-long career doing something which they love, I’m not suggesting it doesn’t happen. Do those people just get lucky? I’m not sure. Maybe they’re more attuned to their inner voice and the path to their true passion was therefore easier to find and then follow. In my case, I always took the path which seemed more attuned to what made other people happy or was guided by external events. We’re also all different and driven by different things at different times of our life. Of course there were times when my career brought me much joy, it doesn’t mean I can’t still be called to do something else. This blog might be the voice of people who haven’t yet found their calling or are afraid to take the first steps to finding out what it is. Or maybe for those that know what it is they want to do but aren’t quite ready to chase it down. Although, you know what I’d say? I’d say you totally are ready and you should totally just go for it. Go chase it. NOW! I now know those people exist too because also in response to blog#1 friends shared (in rather lovely words) that they could relate to a lot of what I shared. Confirmation that it’s ok to feel that way. There isn’t anything wrong with you. The future doesn’t need to be determined by the past. I also came to realise that maybe this blog can in some way help people. I went from writing it for me, to writing it for anyone who might need it, all in the space of one post. Ah this blogging lark, it’s not all cafe’s and latte’s.
I had another conversation with a friend this week who feels entirely stuck in a role. Work is just a means to an end for them, it pays the bills, but it doesn’t excite them or at least not as much as they think it should. It’s just not where they want to be. Not a year from now. Not five years from now. And because I’ve been there I know exactly how difficult that can be. I felt as though I was listening to myself a year ago. ‘What would they do if they weren’t doing this?’ It’s a good question and not one I could answer but I encouraged them to find out. All their concerns and fears were largely focussed on how it (it = leaving the role) would impact other people. Mostly letting people down; bosses who have invested in us and who we care about, organisations that have allowed us to grow, friends that we’ve made along the way. But what about letting ourselves down? Or what about the dis-service we’re doing to people by not putting ourselves out there? I’ve become a bit of a fan recently of Danielle LaPorte – motivational speaker, coach, author and fellow blogger. Ahem. And this week I watched a presentation where she said:-
“The pain of not being you far outweighs the fear of showing up as yourself.” Danielle LaPorte
And it’s spot on. Anyone who is a bit lost in their career – or in anything which makes you feel unhappy really, or which doesn’t allow you to be your true self – needs to know that once you step out from the fear it somehow just gets easier. The point I’m making with funemployment is the idea, in jest to some extent, that not working is fun. Suggesting, by contrast, that working isn’t. I’m not denying that a break from any kind of work can’t be completely enlightening and an opportunity to regroup on what we really want to do or where we want to go, but what happens when we push ourselves to ask if we’re having enough fun 9-5?
I mentioned Sunday Night fear in my first post and let’s face it Monday’s get a bad rap. If I had a dollar (or pound) for every time someone had said “Glad it’s Friday!” I’d be nothing short of minted. I remember seeing something a little while a go on Instagram which made me smile. And it was this, There is nothing wrong with Mondays you just hate your job. Could it be that the old cliche that Monday’s suck and Friday’s rule might have made us forget about the big bit in the middle and how important it is that we actually enjoy it?! It’s our right to do so. We don’t need to live for the weekend, or wish our lives away. We can, and should, live for every day. BTW, don’t even get me started on Hump Day! Now we’re celebrating half-way to Friday!?
Now, I should probably be clear, I’m not suggesting that when I run my own business my weeks are going to be all fairy dust, magic rainbows and not a care in the world. Or, that I’ll be high-fiving strangers on the street while Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ plays in the background. Of course there will be many many tough days and tough weeks I am sure. Weeks when I just so badly want Friday night to roll round so I can kick back on the sofa, feet up with a glass of red and forget about the week. But this should be the exception, not the rule. We should give ourselves the permission to be happy at work and if we’re not we should start asking the question, ‘Why’? And it doesn’t have to be a major career change. It doesn’t need to be your own business. It might be a role change, it might just be changing the way you do things so that you feel more genuine or it might be speaking up about something you think should be changed or done better which will enable you to do your job with more ease and fulfilment.
I remember when I told people that I was going to go part-time to study Interior Design. It definitely split the crowd. The YOU-GO-GIRL(ers) on the left and the WTF(ers) [Er, you know what I mean] on the right. And understandably people’s reactions were based on their own level of risk and their beliefs. I heard the words “brave” “irrational” “inspiring” “mid-life crisis” but when it came down to it, it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought about the decision I’d made because I was listening to my intuition and on this one, it was louder than ever. When I went to the open day at Sydney Design School, I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from jumping up and shouting “I’M IN! WHERE DO I SIGN?!?” because everything they talked about sounded exactly like everything I would love doing. A part of me that I’d forgotten existed was suddenly being pretty vocal. And, when you’ve experienced many years not feeling inspiration anywhere near it, that’s a pretty big A-HA moment. And everyone’s A-HA moment is out there, you’ve just got to find it.
I haven’t even got to what I’ve been up to this week but rather then downloading another whopper of a post, I’ll save that for post number three. Oh, there goes those marketing skills again! But, in the meantime, wins this week, top line? (still speaking like a corporate pro!) 1) I’ve sent A LOT of emails 2) I’m very close to a business name – that’s a blog post all on its own right there! 3) I’ve started my design portfolio 4) I’ve offered up some free room consultations and have had responses. Yay! 5) I’ve looked into website design and 6) I’ve eaten A LOT of TimTams. Those new fancy Zumbo one’s. Ooh, they’re good. Note to self – home office snack regime may need tweaked.
See you next week for the first Fun Employed Deep Dive.
P.S. Happy Hump Day y’all 😉