My Idea of a Career

I've found myself at a crossroads. So I think it's the perfect time to talk about the F word. No not that one you filthy animal... freelancing.

I usually write ‘copywriter’ on my passenger card at the airport – but that's not the whole truth. I'm a copywriter, but I'm also a photographer, an art director, a strategist, a video editor, an account manager, and well, the list goes on. I’m one of those millennial’s that couldn’t focus on one career, so I made a career out of everything.

Jack of all trades, master of none, comes up quite a lot. It’s a big part of my continual self-doubt. But I couldn’t imagine working one job for the rest of my life – it’s just not in my nature. And trust me, I've tried.

I think us millennial's were simply born into a different world, and we're criticised for that. We're now expected to work twice as hard in half the time, we're expected to have 2 - 3 years experience before we even graduate, we're expected to sit at a desk for 9 hours a day without getting restless. We're the first generation to be more educated than the last but get paid less. All this, and much more, is why I chose to freelance.

I've always thought I wanted a career. Even when I was young, I wouldn't dream about getting married or having kids, I'd dream about being a career woman – whatever that means. But throughout my early 20s, I struggled to find what my purpose was, where my skills lied, and what I'd be happy to do for the next 40 odd years. Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone.

Somehow I fell into digital media – I guess it was inevitable as a millenial with a media and communications degree. That fall got me falling faster and harder into freelancing. And like Alice in Wanderland, I was hooked – tiny potion bottles and all. Freelancing gave me the chance to explore my creative path, to stop apologising for wanting more and start making a career out of all of my interests.

But lately, I've been thinking again about what a career means to me. I've been freelancing now for 2.5 years and I don't have a lot to show for it. After the last six months working contract jobs around Melbourne, I seem to have found my feet. I can now see what I want my future to look like. I can see how much I'm worth, when to say no to clients who don't value my time, and where to take my freelancing business. I've found a drive to stop sliding down easy street and start really creating a business out of what I've got.

I've learnt a lot over the past 2.5 years. I've learnt a lot about myself, about my skills and how my brain works. But the biggest thing I've got from my freelancing career and self-doubt is to just start. It sounds clichéd and very obvious but it's the hardest part. And once you start, the second hardest part is to keep pushing. You just need to put yourself out there, keep trying new things and somehow, it'll work itself out. And if it doesn't and you fail, then that's ok too.


What's your idea of a career? Share with my how you imagine your future looking...