In less than a year I’ll be done with university and moving on into the “real world”, so lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life. I thought the best thing to do would be to sit down with some blogging BFFs and have a chat about it.
What do you want to do with your life?
For those of you who are students or not currently in a full time job/career, what do you want your career to be? Do you have a dream job? A plan? Something you’ve vaguely thought about?
Or if you’ve already graduated or you’re working, what job do you have? Do you like it? Is it what you thought you’d be doing?
How many of you have or want jobs that are related to books?
As for me… I thought I had a plan
Honestly, I always saw myself working for a company because I thought that’s what people do. They grow up, go to school, then get a job working for someone (and maybe or maybe not move up the ladder).
In the last year or two, I started envisioning myself at a web design company specifically. I was so happy because I felt like I’d narrowed down my life. Maybe I had a plan!
I was confident. I could envision my future and see myself somewhere. I didn’t know where, but I felt like I had a heading.
…Until that all went to shit.
A nine to five job scares the crap out of me
Up until recently, I had never worked a proper 9-5 job. I had worked a couple different part time jobs (with very flexible hours or shift work). But recently, I found myself in my first 9-5 job. I wasn’t there very long though, because I was overcome with a huge feeling of this is so not for me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
Part of me feels horrible for thinking this because so many people (most people..) work 9-5 jobs and they suck it up, or some of them love it… so why can’t I? But all I could think about was how restricted I felt. I can’t imagine this being the rest of my life:
- Wake up at 8 (if I’m lucky) to get to work at 9.
- Arrive at work at 9 and have my boss tell me what to do.
- Work on projects for someone else all day.
- Leave work at 5.
- Maybe arrive at home at 5:30 or 6.
- Cook dinner.
- Take a shower.
- Maybe it’s 8pm now, so I have about 3 hours to read or do whatever.
Would that be my life? Three hours of freedom? Even if I’m doing something I love that just sounds horrible to me. It’s like working just so I can live, but my whole state of living is just working…
Although the life of a freelancer comes with huge ups and downs (uncertainty, instability, potential dry periods, etc.), it feels like freedom. I love being able to pick and choose my own projects and work wherever I want, whenever I want. I can wake up at noon and work until 2am. I can work at Starbucks, at home in my pajamas, or on the beach in Mexico.
Yes I have “bosses” (clients), and yes I do have to get work done. But being able to pick and choose and directing myself puts a whole other spin on that life.
I’m still unsure about whether or not this is something I could pull off. Right now it’s working extremely well for a part time job while I’m at university. But can I convert that into a career?
I have doubts and fears.. but right now the idea of being stuck in a 9-5 job scares me even more.
I wonder how many authors (or aspiring authors) feel this same way, because it seems like life as an author might be similar to life as a freelancer.
Yeah I have a dream job, but unless I’m very lucky, I can’t make enough money out of it to live. I’m working on my first book so. =) But as an author, you’d have to be very lucky to make enough money, so I’d have to do something aside from that, but I have no clue. I would love something book related, but that’s not easy here in belgium.
That’s true! It’s a bummer how difficult it is to make a living by being an author. 🙁
I’m 32 and *just* figured out my dream job. 2 years ago I would have told you I wanted to be an accountant. But I lucked into the job I have right now, and while it’s not perfect (I work night shift – 10.5 hour days, 4 days a week) it works for what I need at this moment. I work in a lab testing samples of beef for E.coli. Is it what I want to do forever? Probably not – but it’s shown me that I really do want to go the science route…I’m looking at going to university to get a start on becoming a real Lab Technician. I’m terrified, haha…I’m in my 30’s and my SON will be starting university in only 7 years…and I’m considering it. YIKES! 🙂
I’m so glad you’ve figured out your dream job! It’s never too late to go to university. 😉
I was in your position only a year ago (well, kinda). I graduated college a couple years ago with a BS in Business. I looked for a job for two years with no luck. I barely got called back for interviews. So I started reading a lot and then started my blog. From there, I found my passion to write. But writing is just a hobby for me. I know it would never be a full time thing because I highly doubt I would ever be famous enough to make a living at it. But it’s nice to do on the side and make a little money off it.
From blogging, I started liking the idea of web design and book blog touring. I love being in this blogger/author community and finally realized I want my career to be involved associated with all that.
I have had a few part time jobs and never really felt like it fit. I don’t like having that traditional boss and asshole co-workers. In every place I have worked at, I did all the work and got none of the credit. I would vocalize this but was always swept under the rug. I don’t want that stress and unfairness in my life. I want to work for myself and for my clients.
Right now I have a part time job helping a company with their social media and website. That works for me now as side money. But now I am back in school for web design and graphic design. My current goal is to start my own business in web design (focusing on bloggers and authors-which I know a lot of authors because I am part of writing groups), then have my main source of income in a book touring business. I love being part of book tours and feel like that’s something I could totally do. That way I am still working with bloggers and authors. Then, maybe later, I can try my hand at book covers. I want to take some photography courses to help with that as well.
I have had 6 different people approach me about jobs in graphic design and web design in the past 2 months, knowing that I am taking classes for that. I think I have a good cliental already, I just need to get the knowledge.
This is my career goal right now and it works for me. I don’t know if it will change, but this feels “right” to me. Like this is what I’m meant to do. I am just starting out but I love everything I have learned so far. And it leaves room for me to still write and read. I make my own hours. It’s perfect.
I may also get a part time job as an assistant-professor for the web design courses I am teaching which will be nice until I complete my schooling.
OMG, I can’t believe I wrote that much!
I think it’s so awesome that your pursuing your dream! It sounds like you have a great plan in place and some clients lined up. I imagine your BS in business will come in handy for running your own business(es).
I spent way too many years in a corporate environment – and hated every day I had to get up and go to work. A few years ago I decided to quit and do what I wanted to do, so I started a stained glass / glass engraving studio at home. I love it.
I will never make a lot of money (as it is a dying art form), but I am happy, and I will take happiness above having more money than I need, any day. But .. we do need money to live, so it is a hard decision when you are as young as you are – I am a lot older, so the decision was easier, in a way.
That’s awesome, Rosemary! I completely agree with what you said about taking happiness over more money. I completely agree.
Luckily, I think as long as you have the clients lined up, there’s some decent money in a web design business.
I’m in my third year and I’m studying to become a microbiologist (I want to go and work in the medical field) and I really feel like this is THE thing for me. I’ve always been fascinated by biology and I feel great when I’m standing on a lab. The only thing is, I’m also scared for it. I’ve never really worked and I love going to school, so it’s going to take a lot of time to adjust to that new life. Next year is already working and writing my thesis – I don’t want school to end yet! Haha.
Yeah there’s definitely a bit of adjustment. It’s great that you’ve found the perfect thing for you though! I hope it works out. 😀
Since I was in like, 9th grade or something, I wanted to be an author and/or translator. That was my plan, and I worked towards it. 1 year abroad in the US to really get into the people, the culture, and the language (that was after 10th grade, so I had to do two more years for my High School Diploma), and then 7 semester of studies 450km (~280 miles) from home and friends and boyfriend, to gain my Bachelor of Arts in “Language, Culture and Translation” which I finally achieved in March.
The last few months have been trying out and bumping heads with the Social Security/Welfare people, because I was unemployed and wanted to look around what was there for me, but they just wanted to kick me back out the system, shoving me into dishwasher jobs (I mean, really? That is so not what I gave 3 years of study for!). I got into a translator job at a larger office (8 people, 8 to 5 work), but that was neither my field of expertise (machine manuals….. nah), nor was it fun to be stuck there in a box in that specific time frame. So no working well with others for me …
But on the sidelines of my unemployment, I worked with a coach towards my freelance career — which will take of as of November 1. Soooo… this is it. Me starting on my dream job. I know there will be times, especially in the beginning, when I will scream and curse, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it once I see my name on — albeit only the inside of a — book.
Ohh Caro, it’s so exciting that you’re starting your freelance career! It sounds like you’ve worked REALLY hard to make it happen. I hope it’s a huge success for you. 🙂
Maybe I haven’t worked as hard as some others I know, but I still feel like this is what I want to do (especially if you try to convince your family that you’re just not an office person and can do it on your own), and although I’m a big lazy bum, I always work for what I want and try having fun doing it. So I feel like this is a win-win for me… Let’s hope so. =)
If you don’t want the nine to five… don’t. I started my own business a couple years ago and I wouldn’t want to go back. Sure, it’s not as stable. But you’re in charge of everything. And that’s pretty awesome.
You already have a great setup with Creative Whim — keep going! If you’re interested in entrepreneur communities, I suggest Young Female Entrepreneurs and Bootstrap Book Club. They’re two great (free) communities if you want to test the waters. 🙂
Thank you Amanda! It’s great that you started your own business. And thank you for those links, I’ll check them out! 😀
When I was younger I got a degree in History but then my mom died and I moved back in with my dad and sort of got stuck there. But history was never really my first choice so I started thinking about writing. I think I would like to be a writer but I know it’s a hard field to get into (I don’t really want to be a self published author), so I am going back to college to take some writing courses and other things. I would like to take some web design courses but the college that is close to me doesn’t really offer much in that sort of thing. 🙁 So right now I am stuck in a dead end job trying to figure out what I am going to do.
Yeah it’s hard to be a successful author. 🙁
If you are interested in web design, you could just take some online classes. I’ve honestly learned so much more doing web design on my own than I ever did in a class! There are a lot of great learning sites out there. I’ve heard good things about Lynda.
Oh man, I relate to this SO much. I graduated in May, and right now I have a 9 to 5 job. Don’t get me wrong, I feel incredibly grateful to have it, knowing that so many people I graduated with have had such trouble finding jobs, but. . . the idea of this 9 to 5 sort of crushes me. I don’t really feel OWNERSHIP over my job & goals, because they’re the places jobs & goals. And I work for a non-profit, which I thought would help some since I can feel like I’m making an impact/difference. . . and I do, but it’s not quite enough to make me feel comfortable in my job. I think it really is the 9 to 5 office part, because everything about my job is good. I like the actual work. I have an excellent boss. I have great co-workers. It’s not that. It’s just being there, at the same place every day, same time, having so little variety in what I can do. . . feels so stifling. My job is part of a program(hard to explain), and I knew I’d have this job for exactly one year, from July 2013 to July 2014, so I keep telling myself I can stick with anything for a year. But it’s tough at times.
Ideally, I’d love to be a freelance writer and aspiring author. In my head, my dream job would be something like do freelance writing most of the day(reports, grant proposals, etc, whatever people need), and then have two or three hours to work on my creative writing and blogging each day. I love writing(not just creative writing, though that’s part of it), and I want it to be the focus of my job. I don’t know if it’s feasible right now, but my plan is to work really hard at my job over the course of the year, and then try to get things ready for that by the summer(updating my writing portfolio, etc.) It’s definitely my dream job, but I’m just not sure about the feasibility.
The thing is, even though I’m not always happy with my job at times, I think it’s good for me, if only because now I KNOW that environment isn’t for me.
That’s exactly how I feel! I felt really awful complaining about my 9-5 job because I know of a lot of other people who applied for that job (or others) and didn’t get it.. so I felt like a bit of a bitch complaining, but it was just so not for me!
I think there are some extremely successful freelance writers out there! A lot of the blogs you see about freelancing are written about freelance writers and some of them do very, very well! So that’s definitely something you could do! 😀
I think you could totally make a free lance job work. Have a big fat savings account for the dry periods. I say go for your dream job 🙂
My career right now is stay at home mom and I have to say even though it feels redundant sometimes, I adore being my own boss. I have never had a 9-5 job and I’m pretty sure I would hate it. So you’re not alone. When my kids get older I have a dream of being an author as well as a mom. Maybe go to school some more, get a masters. Who knows. I’m 30 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up 😀
Thanks Jessica! 😀
Being an author/mom sounds like it would be a great job. I bet you could totally make that happen. 🙂
I never really knew what I wanted to do until I started blogging and was introducing to the publishing industry so I hope to be able to do this in the future. On the contrary I’m someone who prefers working to studying and wouldn’t mind a 9 to 5 job. I do enjoy independence and the freedom to do what I want but I also like stability and being in a work environment will help me focus on the job. I don’t trust myself at times to get the job done if I’m given too much freedom, I need a little push sometimes and restrictions to get me in the right direction. However, this would have to be a job I enjoy doing.
Yeah that totally makes sense. I understand why that would work for some people!
Just curious: what role would you want in the publishing industry? Anything specific?
I do plan on taking creative writing or majoring in English in uni so I could either work in editorial or publicity, not sure which one yet but I guess when I look for internships and get some experience I’ll be able to figure out which department I want to work in 🙂
I fell into the travel industry and I’ve been working a 9 to 5 for 10 years. At first I was getting some promotions but now I’m kind of stuck with no real opportunity to progress further. I love travel I really do, but since starting my blog I’ve gotten back into writing. I would love to be an author but I know I can’t afford to not work. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make money doing something I love in the meantime and having the flexibility of not having to work 9 to 5.
I still don’t really know what I want to do…I know I’ll figure it out. I turn 30 next month and that’s about the same age that my mom changed her career and started nursing, 20 years later she just got her master’s so I know that eventually I will be where I want to be…it’s just getting there!
I think you could definitely make a career out of your web design especially in the book blogging world with your UBB plug in (which I really want to get but need to go self hosted first). Maybe you can apply for a new business loan or something to use as a financial buffer once you finish at school. Or did you ever think about tutoring or holding small workshops to earn extra cash on the side?
Love this post. I have an associate’s degree in Fashion Design and I’ve been in the same company since 2007. Well last month they decided to relocate my company to Warren, PA. I can’t move, I just bought a house this year and call me a baby but I can’t imagine living without my parents/family or taking my kids away from their cousins. As you can imagine, not many fashion jobs in Tucson, AZ and my last day is coming up at the end of this month. I have no idea WTF I’m gonna do but now’s my chance to figure it out I guess…
I am working on writing a book, but we all know how difficult it is to not only break into the industry but to make decent money off of it so in the meantime… I’m not sure. Something with books maybe? I went to school for fashion merchandising, but don’t really want to do anything with that, but I did learn about what it takes to be a buyer. So I think my ultimate dream job would be to become a buyer for a large bookstore like Barnes&Noble. Either that or work in a library with teens. Maybe planning the different teen events or scheduling author visits and whatnot.
But you could totally run your own business! Your practically already do. I’m sure you could make it something big enough to live off of. You’re awesome!
Honestly… yeah. I have a dream job, and although it is a 9-5 type job, it’s more awesome than that. I mean, who wouldn’t want to own their own bookstore? That’s my dream. <3
As for a plan… kind of. I'm not much of a planner. I just figured that I would get my GED, take out a small loan and just go from there. If something just doesn't work, it's not meant to be.
Whatever you decide to do with your life/job, just make sure it makes you happy, right? Go for your web design dream! (:
I can really relate with your problem! If everything goes as planned, I will finish my Master’s degree in English Literature and Comparative Literature in June. I’m not sure what I want to do afterwards. I currently work a 40% job in an office and I enjoy the relatively flexible hours, I have an awesome boss and great co-workers. It’s also a great relief to have a stable salary instead of being paid by the hour… and then not getting as many shifts as needed (I worked at a pastry shop before & taught immigrant kids on Saturdays, so I traded 2 jobs for 1 that pays more than both did together).
But I can’t imagine working this job more than 60% at most, and it’s also not what I studied for. I thought I’d give myself half a year to really work on my draft that I finished in January 2012 and still haven’t really revised >.< I'd love to make it as a writer but I'm not the kind of person who can just say screw it and take the risk. Through blogging I also became interested in the publishing industry though so I'd love to work for an agency or as an editorial assistant. But that means leaving Switzerland for the UK or US – a huge step.
Another possibility is pursuing a PhD at my university and working a job on the side and keeping up a writing schedule… but I don’t know if I can juggle so many things at once :/
Kudos to everyone here who had the courage to start freelancing or an own business! It must be so satisfying to do what you love, even if it can be tough at times!
P.S.: sorry this got so long…
This post literally made me want to hide in a corner and burst into tears. Thinking about the future is so scary! I have 2 dream jobs: First one would be reading and reviewing professionally (which I’m not even sure is a real job..) and the other one is being a Forensic Scientist (think Abby Sciuto from NCIS). I’m actually taking Chemistry in Uni right now, so I hope I can do it one day! Good luck on your dream job! 🙂
My dream job is to work with books, and fortunately for me, I started working at a book store about 2 months ago. I’ve been working for about 6-7 years, and I can safely say that it’s the best job that I’ve ever had. Not only do I get to work with books all day, but I work with an amazing team that adds on to how much I love the job.
It’s part-time for now, but I’ll hopefully bump up to full-time at some point. The great thing about my story is that there’s longevity to it. Everyone’s been there 5-10 years, aside from those who just recently got hired.
Okay so here it goes…
All through high school I had totally planned on Law School. Went to college and decided to major in film. After 1 semester being a film major I switched back to Pre-Law. I changed again to Psychology a few years later and finally settled on Early Childhood education with an intent to teach preschool.Now I’m reconsidering that. Thank goodness that I don’t have to work right now.I’m a big saver when it comes to money. Now my ideal job would be working from home doing something related to books. I am working on my first novel but I know that pinning all my hopes on becoming an author is not wise.
An old friend of my grandmother’s reviews books professionally for our local newspaper and that would be AWESOME.A part of me really hates not having an idea of what I want to do with my life. It’s really weird because I am such a planner in general.
I came back to the US after completing a postgrad degree at Glasgow Uni right before the recession hit (2 months before it hit) and I’ve had ZERO luck finding a job (too much education). My plan was to come back for a year and work on a PhD topic and then head back to Glasgow to do it, but alas I fell into a mini depression with the inability to find work and thinking I wasn’t smart enough to do a PhD. I’ve done some part time temp work, but not enough to fund a class or two for the letters of rec needed to apply to PhD programs. I’ve changed my mind especially with the state of academics in the Humanities (although the PhD is just now a goal. If I complete it when I’m 80 then yay me.) I toyed with the idea of maybe archive work, but most places want a degree directly in that or x number of years of experience which I don’t have. There are a few options, but the more I think about it, I’d really like to help kids improve their writing. I have an idea for a non-profit that combines reading books (sort of like the Pizza Hut Book It program) and writing. I’ve scored essays for high school students and the writing is horrible and it makes me sad when I see 17 yr olds misspell basic words (not to mention cringe when they state they want to be a lawyer or doctor). Launching a non-profit is HUGE and I’m still researching, etc.
The thing is…it is possible to build a career from what you’ve been doing. During undergrad, a PhD candidate did design work and set up her own business. She runs it full time and doesn’t use her PhD in Medieval History at all. It’s just taking the time to brainstorm possible added services, etc. You might look at doing some freelance work writing articles for tech stuff. Or maybe look at teaching a continuing education course on WordPress, etc. Lots of people don’t know where to begin. You can also set up consulting services with local businesses. There’s a lot you can do. Like I said-it just takes the time to brainstorm and see what other businesses that offer the same services you do or plan to, see what is lacking or what can be improved on.
I never imagined that I would do what I do.
I sort of inherited my husband’s trucking company. I spent an hour or so a night filling out paperwork and preparing his truck for his next trip.
In the past month though, we decided to finally cut out the middle man. Now I spend my entire mornings on the phone and the computer finding him loads from point A to point B.
It wouldn’t be so bad, however, I also have to hide out while I’m on the phone so there’s no background “mommy, mommy, mommy” during the business calls. And let me tell you…2-year-olds are great at hide and seek.
While I’m not on the phone, I have to keep him away from all the faxes and haphazardly sorted paperwork. Once I finally get the load(s) booked for my husband, I get to spend the rest of the day managing a toddler with a lot of pent up energy. At least now the weather is nice and walking is a great way to burn energy.
I’ve always wanted to write. Though, I can’t get anything done unless my kid is sleeping. Having to wake up at 6am now for “work”, it means that I’ve lost much of my time to write at night. Or that I’m a zombie from no sleep.
It’s nice that I’m able to spend time with my kid instead of at a 9-5 job and it’s also nice that if me and my husband decide not to work one day…any day…it’s perfectly fine. We make up our own schedule. But, when my kid is ready for school, I’ll be happy to start a 9-5 job again. It’s good money, but I don’t get much time at all for me and even less with my husband.
I plan on either getting into publishing or writing full-time when my kid starts school. 3-5 years from now. *crosses fingers*
I work as accountant in a interior design company. Not a big company but they have plenty projects, I’m a single fighter there, the only one accountant who do all financial report. As for me, I don’t like work in office (I work at 8-5), but accountancy is my major. I sometimes take a freelance to do other company’s report, but usually I become overwhelming with it since I have a fulltime job (and sometimes need to work overtime) and freelance job at home.
I’m still confused with my dream job. I have a passion on writing, but author is not popular job here in Indonesia so I can’t count on that job without having another job. I love to sew and make costumes, but it needs more spare times and energy to do it. I’m still not ready leave my main job to jump to catch my passion since I also support my family financial.
You’re not confused alone! x_x
I want to do that SO bad! After designing my Blogger designs, I realized that I wanted to follow the web design path. Then I stumbled on your blog, and found out that you were self taught, and seeing how successful you were really gave me the inspiration to lock it in as my chosen career path! Up until last year, I had NO clue what I wanted to do with my life, and I felt like there was nothing for me out there.
I <ihate having to go to work everyday. I even have an enjoyable job – I work with animals! But it still has its awful days (dogs can be assholes just like people!), just like any job would. I would LOVE to work from home and have that flexibility to go wherever I want to go. I need freedom, and I hate being tied down. If I worked in web design, I’d never have to worry about not being able to call in sick, or having to drive to work in a level 3 snow emergency because I HAD to be there. I’d never have to cover anyone else’s shift. I could do things at my own pace, and no one would be there micromanaging me and breathing down my neck. I want that SO bad! The only thing that scares me is that it’s not guaranteed money. What if I can’t get enough clients to pay my bills? It’s not a guaranteed salary. But it’s definitely still something I want to do!
I totally and completely agree Jessi! Even if it’s a job I love, the thought of doing it every day makes me want to claw my eyes out. I think the big thing for me is the lack of freedom. I don’t like being told which jobs to do for other people. But with freelance, I’m still doing website work for other people, but I get to choose the projects I want to do, which makes me feel like I’m picking my own work.
Also I just have serious problems with waking up early. It depresses me and puts me off the whole rest of the day LOL.
I think my absolute ideal job is being able to support myself on pre-made plugins/themes alone. That would give me the freedom to literally design whatever I want, however I want it, and people just buy it if they like it. I think that might be an unrealistic dream though.. even less realistic than freelance! 🙁
It’s cool that you feel the same way though! I hope we can both make it happen! *fingers crossed*
I do feel better about my job now that I only work 3 days a week (13 hour shift suck ass, but I’d rather work less days and longer hours) and have more time for me, but I still hate the obligation. If there’s something I want or need to do, I’m not guaranteed to be able to do it! Thankfully the schedule is mostly flexible, so it hasn’t been a problem yet.
Me too! I’ve never been a morning person, but I’m getting better. I get up around 7 am to go to the gym on my days off because I get to beat everyone else to it and have the place to myself lol! But I have to get up at 4:45 am to be to work at 6, and that is NOT enjoyable. I hate going to bed early!
That’s where I want to start, is pre-made themes. I wouldn’t have to work with anybody to get the specifics perfect (because the two designs I did for good friends were kind of difficult and time consuming to get just right, even though we were cool and it was pleasurable to work with the person – it was still tedious!) I can just do it how I want to. I’d love to sell graphics, too!
My dream job is a museum curator – and I’m off to study for it next September. Until then I’m working almost full-time as a medical receptionist, which I really enjoy, although it can be very stressful at times.
I had the same thoughts as you when I started an actual 9-5 job though! Once you’ve done everything you need to do, where’s all your free time?? I’m a lot better at managing things now I’m used to it though.
I have a standard 9-5 job, with just a slight twist. Since I moved across the country, I still have the same job, but I work from a home office instead of going into the office. I miss the people, but like having an income. The ecomony in my town is non-existent, so I can’t really change jobs easily. I’m good at my job, but I don’t love it. But I don’t know what I really want to do. At 31, I’m still trying to figure out what my dream job is.
Ooooh, great post! As for me, I don’t really have a solid life plan yet– I’m one of the people who like to pick up whatever life throws at them. As of the moment though, I’m thinking about going to Med school. It’s nothing bookish, but I’m a total science nerd, and being a doctor seems like something so fulfilling despite the hectic schedule. Besides, my school requires for me to take a Science course, which sometimes sucks, but at least I like what I’m getting into 🙂 So yeah, there’s that! but of course, I will always HAVE to have time for reading + blogging 😀 And I love where you’re at at this moment! It seems so fulfilling to have that sort of freedom while still being productive. There will be some hardships, because that’s life, but I’m sure if you love what you do, there’s nothing to worry about 🙂
Aw, I hope you manage to figure out something to do soon, Ashley! I’m not in college yet, but I know what it feels like to NOT have your future planned out. I always thought I’d work in a company, sit behind a desk, do paperwork or, if I’m lucky, something I’m passionate about, as well. But I have to admit that the prospect of a 9 – 5 job scares me. Right now, I’m only in school, and I have more free time on my hands than I probably will ever have when I go out into the real world. I don’t think I’d take the change of not being able to comment or surf the internet as and when I please very well. I’d probably feel SUPER depressed. (As you can tell, I’m a bit addicted.)
An author: that’s what I’ve always wanted to become. I KNOW. It sounds super cliche, because I love books and I blog and everything. That was my dream until early this year, when my mom broke it to me that I wouldn’t be able to support myself if I just wrote. So now? I’m left with a confused brain and a sinking heart, because I’ll be going to uni in about two years, and I have no idea what the heck I want to do!
I’m with you on freelancing. I think it would be incredibly cool to do, though the only problem is whether we’ll be able to survive in such a competitive world, you know? If I wanted to be a freelance graphic designer, my skills may not be good enough. If I wanted to be a freelance journalist, people might not want to hire me because I’m a newb. If I wanted to be a freelance photographer, it’s the same thing. That’s my main worry, really, but I wish you all the best with figuring out the next chapter of your life!
Yes! I love your comment—that’s exactly how I feel. I think my boyfriend is lucky in the job he has because at least it’s a very relaxed work environment and he’s allowed to surf the internet, check email, check his phone, and do things like that kind of whenever he wants (as long as he gets his work done).
But yes, freelancing is risky… I think it’s hard to get to a point where you have clients flowing in and you’re confident in your abilities to be able to stand there and think, “I can do this. I am good enough!
Aloha young Ashley and other young people starting off!
One bit of advice, if you don’t mind, from someone who could be your grandmother’s age – do not only look at where you are now or in the next few years. Look way ahead – to what you eventually want your life to look like, and begin to plan and implement.
The reason for this? It may seem like light years away, but age creeps up and then pounces on you, and the more you have done to save, invest, plan, do, the better off you will be.
It IS scary starting off on your adulthood, but it just gets better and better with each decade, so enjoy the journey and enjoy your wonderful youth!
Mahalo for allowing me to visit,
Interesting! I think I would love to have more flexibility in a job, but I just feel like the only option I will ever have is a 9-5 job. My only way around is to try and make sure that that job is something I truly enjoy, which is why I’m trying the whole publishing business. I figure if I can get free books out of it and be surrounded by other book lovers, maybe it’ll make the whole 9-5 thing less scary. We’ll see ><
I saw this post during the week but I have so little time during the week thanks to my 9 to 5 that I didn’t have time to comment until now! Yeah, maybe that says it all! However on the otherside, I have a very flexible job where I can organise my own days with no one telling me what to do, I can things I need to get done but how and when I do them is up to me. I finish at 1pm every Friday as I work up hours and have a 2 and 1/2 day weekend which I adore. Plus I have a regular paycheck and when I walk out the door, I leave all the stress behind me. I grew up in a family run business and I know just how much blood, sweat and tears goes into one. I’m happy with the choices I made. All that said if I was younger and just starting out, I would still work in finance but would focus on the book/publishing industry as that is where my passion is.
This is an amazing post, and I appreciate everything you said, Ashley. I know you’ll be successful with whatever you do. I still have no idea what I want to be “when I grow up”–I have a degree in accounting but hate that job LOL For now, I’m just sticking to being a mom and chauffeur for my kids.
I was in what I thought was a career, and it ended last year. I was out of work for awhile, and now I’m working again, but to be honest, my dream is to someday make a career out of writing. I’m working hard on a novel I hope to self-publish next year, and I’d LOVE to get back in school and finish my degree. I really really don’t want to do retail for the rest of my life.
I’d also love to work around books – either in a bookstore, or own an indie bookstore at some point down the road.
I think if you KNOW you are going to be miserable in a 9-5 Ashley…don’t do it. Don’t start. Do something daring, do freelance. Be HAPPY!
A writing career would be fabulous! I really hope you can make that happen. 🙂 *fingers crossed*
I also think it would be so cool to own an indie bookstore.. I think it’s just a bit scary because of how bookstores are on the decline. It’s just so hard for indies to survive. It’s sad. 🙁
I hope I can, too! I’m a chapter away from finishing the first draft. And I mean…I’ll still write even if I never make money off my books, you know? That would be a nice side-effect and I’d LOVE to be able to somewhat support myself through it, but I’ll tell these stories regardless. 😀
Yeah, it is REALLY sad. We don’t have a single bookstore in my little town anymore – indies can’t survive, and we had a Hastings chain but it went out of business last year.
I hope you work everything out Ashley! Freelancing sounds much better than the 9-5 job–which sounds kind of soul-sucking for you. Go for the dream and if it doesn’t work out you can always change paths.
Personally, I’m hoping to go into something like publishing or journalism and work on the side as an author.
I’m in an interesting position right now where I’m kind of reconsidering everything. I had some major health problems a few years back, so I had to take a huge chunk of time off of school. And just when I’m getting ready to go back and finish, lo and behold, I have cancer, so I’m not back in school now.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to work in major league baseball. I’ve worked in media and sports for the good portion of my young adult life. I even was offered a couple internships with the MLB team in my hometown that I grew up watching and am still a major fan of. But they all were offered to me in semesters when I already had class schedules that wouldn’t have allowed me to take the positions and when I applied for positions during the summer when I could’ve made it work, the field was so competitive that it was impossible for me to even crack getting a call back. However, I did work internships that surrounded it and I made some good contacts, all of whom follow me on Twitter now.
But this summer, after being at BEA and being in NYC, things kind of changed for me. I saw this different life that I never had the guts to imagine for myself that I suddenly couldn’t get my mind off of. And then I got my diagnosis and things suddenly just stopped on a dime.
Fast forward to a week and a half ago when I was watching a baseball game and thinking to myself, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if this team did an ‘Orange Out the Park’ night for leukemia awareness.” I suggested it to some people I knew there. Suddenly they wanted a formal marketing proposal and want me to apply for a regular season internship and see the project through from start to finish.
This is what at one point I was waiting for desperately. I would have scrubbed the players’ cleats with my own toothbrush to make it happen. And it’s something that people would kill for. I put together my updated resume, I wrote a cover letter that is not too long winded. I have uploaded everything to their job application server, but not submitted it. And I cannot bring myself to hit the button.
Would it be fun? I’m sure it would be. Would it possibly be too much for my body to take while I’m recovering? Quite possibly. But if that was all that was stopping me, I think that if it was truly my passion, I would make it work no matter what it took. But I’m not sure it is.
I want something different for myself. Something changed. And that dream of living in New York and working for a publisher or as an editor or an agent or something of that nature … That’s what I want for myself now and because I’ve had this whole unexpected thing happen, I feel like I owe it to myself to work for those dreams that I was always too afraid to even acknowledge. I’m not sure what that means for me, only that I think have to forgive myself for changing, because there’s still that part of me that’s like, “What the hell is wrong with you? Take this internship and run.” But if I take it, it means no going to NYC this winter and ALA Midwinter in Philly. It means no BEA and no summer excursion in the city that I have set aside money for.
And I’m finally writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, something I’ve wanted to do forever but didn’t have the guts for and I hope it’ll encourage me to be gutsy and keep doing it until I write something that I could possibly sell, if for no other reason that when I write, I feel at peace.
In the strangest of ways, having cancer has provided me with opportunities. I don’t recommend going about it this way, but I have access to scholarships and grants and things I didn’t have before. I could actually make this dream of finishing my schooling in New York and working there while I do it happen. And when I think of picking the baseball internship, sure, I get a little excited. But when I think of the NYC dream, I feel alive. And when I think about picking the one path over the new dream, it makes me cry. I can’t. I can’t sacrifice anything else. I can’t not choose this new dream.
This is difficult, because my dad has no desire to see me move to NYC. He thinks it’s wrong for me. And he loves baseball knows what my dreams were and he hasn’t let go of them. I can’t get him to see things differently, even faced with what I’ve been fighting.
Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that I think what we want to be when we grow up changes. I think we grow up multiple times. And I think that’s okay. And if 9 a.m.-5 p.m. isn’t for you, it isn’t for you. We’re fortunate enough to live in a time where there are more options, where you can find something that fits you, and where women can have a few careers in their lifetime and love them all.
So yes, I know what I want to be when I grow up. I just need the courage to leave behind an old dream for the new one.