“People ask me all the time how can they get this life that I have where I do something I love, get to make my own hours, and support a family. Seems great, right? But that life also comes with this: having no idea how I’ll get paid next. And it happens all the time.” Penelope Trunk
I mentioned Penelope’s blog in a post I recently wrote about why blogging is good for your career.
I love her blog because she gives the kind of career advice I would have loved to get ten years ago when I started my own design business and was filled with all the insecurities that come with working for yourself, trying to ‘make-it’ doing what you love, while looking for support in not selling out and going back to the corporate job that fit better into my comfort zone in the first place!!
Penelope’s bottom line advice on which career to choose? (You know, the corporate one or the freelance designer one?) “I just choose the lifestyle I want first, before I choose my work. I am a freelance writer because if I worked nine-to-five I wouldn’t see my kids. That’s my bottom line.
There have been so many times when I’ve told myself that I can’t stand the instability of a freelancer’s life. But more than that, I can’t stand the idea that I would only see my kids on the weekends.”
So that’s it. Choose the life you want and then choose the work that goes with it. Because the instability part she’s talking about? That is the part that goes hand-in-hand with being a freelancer! It’s about carving out your niche as a designer and that takes some trial and error to begin with!
I decided 10 years ago that I have to be creative or die, and I would have loved this advice during the times when I truly questioned whether it was really in me to live the freelancers life. And then after a while, I started to trust myself and my abilities. I began surrounding myself with other designer friends that I could network with and exchange ideas and information with, and I discovered that I was not alone on the creative path. . .
Speaking of designer friends, I met Victoria Lambert from DesignTies for the first time last night at the Cantu Party along with a few of my friends (above). So great!
So now you have another way to approach the question of the creative job vs. the corporate one—if that happens to be the place where you are right now. Did I mention it’s totally worth it?
Have a great weekend!