In Praise of the Unplanned Career by Danielle Meder is posted in the Ryerson Folio, an internet publication of Ryerson University in Canada. Ryerson is an urban university with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Ms. Meder has written something directed towards recent graduates, but I found it spoke to me personally as I try, like many, to redesign my career path in a post-recession economy. Whether you're leaving the intense scheduling of college life or the daily hustle and flow of a full time job, your efforts to plan your next steps and create a similarly comfortable routine out of the job search can often keep you from your most creative self. What would happen if you allowed the emptiness and uncertainty to have a place in your life? What might you learn about your true north?
From our friend Chris Guillabeau of The Art of Nonconformity and $100 Start Up fame, comes this reminder about the upside to freelancing and self-employment. I'm not suggesting it's right for everyone, but I think more and more creative people will be finding a new way to work as the traditional job path becomes an uphill climb. In his post Self-Employment and Security he asks up "What is risky? Whether you work a “real job” or strike out on your own, relying on someone else is risky. What is secure? Creating your own freedom through side projects, independent work, instant consultancies, and creative self-employment of all kinds. What is freedom? The ability to make your own choices."
And finally I leave you with this very brief tidbit from my latest favorite writer Ben Casnocha called How to Draw an Owl. In this post, he muses on what separates the novice from the master. As I read it I thought of it as an analogy for setting and achieving goals - to become a master means working all the time towards that often elusive state of "perfection". What I like about his post is that it acknowledges how hard it is sometimes to just keep going until you've nailed it. Now you might think that this flies in the face of Ms Meder's praise for the unplanned career above, but I think there is room for both to live in the same space. Sometimes following a less conventional, less planned path requires just as much discipline as following an action plan. Either way, I believe in making incremental steps every day and trying not to get ahead of myself. It's hard to not become impatient or think that others are doing better than you. The reward, they say, is not in the destination but in the journey...right?
In the words of Winston Churchill "Never, never, never, never, never quit."