You Can Walk the Path of Doing Work That Matters
The greatest myth of striking out on your own as a freelancer or independent creator is that you’ll automatically escape the monotony of the 9-5 cubicle dweller. We think the relentless sense of pending doom and total lack of meaning in Dilbert, or The Office, or some satire of corporate business culture, won’t apply to us the moment we book our first client or post our first video on YouTube.
The truth is more nuanced then that. I’ve had fun, rewarding, meaningful moments working for the man. And I’ve had days of boredom, frustration, and discouragement working as a free agent.
However, the benefits of self-employment can’t be denied, and that is you have the ability to choose your own work. When you’re stuck in a job you hate, your only recourse might be to quit—easier said than done! But when you’re independent, if you feel stuck in a contract you hate or are flailing in the type of content you’re creating, you can mix it up at any time. Find another client. Try launching a new creative project. Take your business in a new direction and pivot, as they say in the Valley…(Silicon, that is).
My career as a freelance web designer and developer has gone through many such ebbs and flows over the years. There have been days when I’m ready to throw in the towel—more than I care to count. But I’ve grown to be extremely thankful for the freedom to control the destiny of my working life and the meaning and fulfillment I find in my career. When I help awesome clients accomplish great things for their organizations, it gives me a sense of purpose. I’m doing work that matters. We might not be saving the Arctic or curing cancer together, but we’re contributing to society in positive ways.
To me, that’s what success looks like.
What does success look like for you?