The Working Life

I’ve spent five years managing web projects for other people and another six managing work for myself.  Both are difficult paths: The self-employed route requires so much DIY chutzpa that it becomes difficult to focus on what it is that you do best.  But having someone else direct your work often means putting aside your priorities and doing your best to understand someone else’s motivations.

It’s hard to feel like you’re getting anywhere when you’re the boss of yourself.  There can be so many accomplishments but there’s not much moving up.  There are few people other people to direct (unless you get funding) and there are a limited amount of projects you can take on and be involved with at any one time.  There’s lots of doing without concrete results and a constant nagging feeling that you may just not be good enough.

There’s nobody else there to tell you to come home after school when all of your other friends are out playing with other friends.  Nobody’s going to remind you that the extra coffee break means fifteen last minutes spent researching or editing except you.  And there’s no job title to reaffirm your role.

Making time to think about what you’re doing before you start doing becomes more important.  Keeping yourself accountable to your long term plans becomes essential.  You become a living breathing work in progress and your life and work fuse together in an almost unrecognizable way.

Yet there are countless blogs and books about creating your own path because making your own mistakes can be so rewarding.  When you’re on your own and you mess up, you can just pick yourself back up and try again.  Because even when things get bad, you’re probably not going to fire yourself.


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