1.23 Careers

TORONTO, ONTARIO: Why is having a career cool? There seems to be a notion prevalent among people my age that being on the fast track into a management position displays that you have ‘made it’. I don’t think ambition is necessarily a bad thing, I have my own. A switch seems to be thrown from your twenties into your thirties where you have to grow up, get a real job, partake in society in the ways deemed appropriate. I tried all this. I won’t get into details but I have flirted with the corporate world a few different times. Felt I should give it a try but the entire way the system is set up just did not work for me. I’ve worked – more or less – for myself all these years and it suits me just fine.

The freelance world is not for everyone. Some people – most people, need that security – and that’s great. Working for yourself puts you on the fringes and sometimes I do feel out of synch. Especially when I ride the subway during rush hour. I find a strange perspective from those that have ‘real jobs’ (for lack of a better term), they don’t try to understand me the way I have tried to understand them. It is like trying to relate to people my age that have children – we tread in different worlds and very few experiences are relatable.

To this I add that there are different types of ambition. We are not lazy people, we freelancers. It’s a constant hustle. The most important thing to me in a job is that it is interesting. Yes, lots of research is out in the world talking about how it is different now, people change careers multiple times. But there is a difference between taking a new job where you are basically doing the same thing for another company and changing careers that effect lifestyle, income and how you are positioned within society.

I guess people with a career job are easily definable? Is that it? You can meet someone at a party and when you ask what they do, it’s a nice, tight, short one-liner. I’ve had to narrow things down because I have felt in the past that I always needed to explain, to justify how I make a living. It might not seem interesting to that individual because there doesn’t seem much room for climbing any sort of ladder. But it’s interesting to me.

As I get older, I am drawn to people that make their way through this world on their own terms. I have met some wonderful individuals that prescribe to a way of life where they are continually searching for stimulation and building a series of experiences that make them some of the smartest people I know. They operate on their own time, attach themselves to their interests. Maybe we freelance/non-career people are self-indulgent and selfish in our pursuits. Well, I guess that’s one way to look at it.

In fact, I’m justifying right here. I don’t even know why I’m writing all this. I just still feel some kind of ominous pressure in the air sometimes that I should just suck it up, take a management course and be happy. So, really, this is all just one complaint, the airing of grievances that I have in regards to this strata of society that feels my part doesn’t count. I want to be a part of the community around me, I believe I have a lot to offer, that my skills are useful. I don’t mean to condone the individuals on the other side of the fence. This entry is all over the place. I’ll stop before I say something that will forever spoil my reputation if I am ever up for another management position.