Summer in Central Texas is annoyingly moist and perpetually hot. Currently, we’re doing what most of the rest of the US did all winter: hibernating in our houses and patiently waiting for next season to arrive.
While many Texans see summer as a time to be lazy and enjoy more time by the water, I see it as a time to play a good ol’ fashion game of catch up…
BEFORE I HIT 30: Work for a company I truly believe in.
NEW CHALLENGE: Apply for jobs, and don’t stop ‘til I find me one!
For 2 years now, I’ve enjoyed having flexible work hours, setting my own schedule, and working from my cozy lil’ house. But I’ve come to a point where I’m ready to put this lifestyle in the “been der, done dat” pile and move on.
This week, a friend I’ve known a while said, “remind me… did you graduate from college? I forget…” This resonated a certain insecurity. People that know me well don’t even know why I’m doing what I do!!! And that made me ask myself, do I even know???
After some thought, I came to my answer: I do know why I work from home, and why I’ve allowed myself to live off money from occasional side jobs instead of actually pursuing a career with a company. Here’s why:
Since I was young, I’ve been a great student. That continued on all the way through college. I got my degree in 4 years, taking 18 hours some semesters, while at the same time working a full time job, and an internship all at once. It’s probably a good thing that I went to a tiny college in a boring city - it kept me focused.
Right after graduation, I moved directly into a full time marketing job with the company I interned for, and I stayed with them for 3 years. During that time, I held about 4 positions simultaneously: marketing coordinator, product manager, intern supervisor and personal assistant to the owner. Picture me as an Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada”, except living in Texas and getting to wear casual clothes to work.
From the time I left high school to the end of that 3-year period with that company, I never had a break. Even though I spent all my time after college doing something I loved and gaining invaluable work experience, I felt that I had let my early twenties get away from me. I felt like I needed time for myself, and deserved a break. So after 7 long years of living in San Antonio, I picked up and moved to Austin.
For those who don’t know much about Austin, it’s a young, 20-something year old person’s haven. No matter how much you make a year, no matter what you’re into, you can move here by yourself, with almost no money to your name, and have a LOT of fun. That’s exactly what I did… for 3 years.
At the time, I felt like this is exactly what I had been missing. I had spent too long playing adult, and had missed out on the chance to be young and dumb. As soon as I got to Austin, I got an easy waitressing gig that paid the bills (and then some) - one that didn’t require any brain-power, and I lived exactly how I wanted to live, every day.
After about 2 years of non-stop fun, my mind was craving a challenge. That’s when I realized I had had enough of a break, and was ready to move on with life. I got back in school for visual communications, and that’s when I found out that I had a knack for graphic design.
Apparently, when friends and friends-of-friends learn you’re in school for graphic design, they see it as an opportunity to get cheap work done. I started accepting small jobs here and there, and one day realized, “hey! i can do this for a living and feel empowered that I can make a living all on my own!” … So that’s exactly what I did.
The past 2 years have been great. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve challenged my own abilities, and I know my potential. Holding yourself to your own standards is one thing… but working for someone else’s company is another.
So far this week, I’ve applied to one company, and have been rejected. Instead of feeling sad about it, I actually feel more confident about the next one. We learn from every experience we’re faced with. Confidence and perseverance is really all that’s needed to get where you want to go.