It’s been a little over a month since I started blogging (yay!) and I’ve gotta say… I LOVE IT. Is it a lot of work? Um, yes. So much work. Have I made a bunch of money? Lololol. Only if you consider $10.40 and a free package of chocolate covered almonds a bunch of money. Is it rewarding as heck? YEAH. Lemme tell you why.
I am NOT the kind of person who can sit still for long (apart from Netflix binges – that’s a whole different ballgame). So for pretty much my entire life, every career idea I’ve entertained (i.e. cake decorator, singer, nanny, writer, blogger) has been anything but ordinary. The thought of going to an office and sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day makes me want to pull my hair out!! If that sounds like you, keep reading.
Here are 5 ways to tell if you might need a career change!
1. You spend more time at work thinking about all the things you’d rather be doing than your job.
Of course everyone does this sometimes. I feel like, as humans, it’s in our nature to constantly be at least a little curious about what we’d be doing if our life were altered in some way. But if that “wondering” consumes you, taking up most of your thoughts throughout the day, it might be time to start considering other career options.
2. You have actually put the time in Googling, searching for a different career path. A lot of time.
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in the past three years researching how to become a full-time blogger. It honestly wasn’t until after college that I realized that making an income (sometimes a lucrative one) from a blog was even possible! But then I started following people like Sarah from Sassy Red Lipstick and Emily from The Sweetest Thing, and I thought, “Why can’t I do that? What makes them so different from me?” Sarah is a curvy girl like me – not plus size, but not thin like most fashion bloggers, either. And Emily is from Arkansas and went to the same university I did! If they can succeed, so can I!
3. You offer something of value.
Obviously EVERYONE offers something of value. But in this case, if you’re a good writer, videographer, photographer, speaker, social media manager, etc, you have a unique skill that you can develop. I’m not saying you have to have expertise in one of these areas, though. Make a list of things you excel at. You may find that someone out there is looking to hire you for doing one of those things!
4. You would rather work 60 hours a week doing a job you love than work 35 at a job you hate.
A common theme I’ve come to recognize while reading/listening to advice given by successful bloggers is this: Being a creative and trying to make a living from it is HARD WORK. Like, an unbelievable amount of work. And I can tell you from experience just in my first month, they ain’t kidding. And I’m only posting twice a week (a lot of bloggers post FIVE TIMES A WEEK)! But every one of them is also in love with their job. They enjoy it so much that they don’t mind putting in the extra hours! The fact is: they would rather work super hard for themselves than do mediocre work for someone else.
5. You don’t have expensive taste/require financial security.
I’m definitely not trying to glamorize being your own boss. If you can’t look at your bank account and refrain from freaking out when it shows you’ve got less than $10 to your name, maybe this life isn’t for you. If you can’t be okay with living on peanut butter and crackers for a day or two (or three or four…), you might want to stay where you are.
Here’s the thing, though. You can’t be an idiot when it comes to this. If you look at your budget and see that you have a lot of bills to pay or people that depend on your income, then a stable 9 to 5 may be the best option for you right now. At least until you can get some of those bills paid off and free up some room in your budget. Make a plan, though. Figure out how you can save enough in the next 6 months or year in order to provide a cushion for your move into a more creative career. But make a plan. And stick to it.
In today’s society, it’s becoming more and more frequent to find young people who value experience over material possessions. But so much of the time we’re thought to be “lazy” or “entitled” or “impulsive.” And while I do know some millennials who do fit that description, I also know plenty of people from older generations who do, too! What my generation has realized is that the world is an awfully big place, and you can learn a great deal more by seeing it than you can with a 401k and a mortgage. Yeah, I may stay with my parents in between trips. But I cook and clean and run errands and pay my part of everything, because I’m not about to ask for them to support me. I support myself. But why should I pay for a house or an apartment that I’m only going to be living in half the time? How does that make sense?
I am a firm believer that you can make a living doing what you love. Am I making a living from blogging yet? Heck no! But I’d gladly work part time doing freelance stuff or short term jobs that allow me to put the time in on what I really love! And I know that eventually it’ll pay off. Sarah’s husband, Robbie Tripp, has been extremely influential in my deciding to take the leap into blogging/being my own boss. In his book, Create Rebellion, he talks all about betting on yourself and ignoring the negative remarks people might throw your way. Their negativity comes directly from their unhappiness with their own lives, and has nothing to do with your success. Remember that.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have friends and family members who LOVE their desk jobs! They can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else. But this post isn’t aimed at them! If you’re still reading, it’s probably aimed at you.
I’ve learned a great deal since graduating college three years ago. But the most important thing would be this: There is so. much. more. to life than paying bills until you die. Don’t get so caught up in making a living that you forget to make a life.