In my “career” I have careened through too many positions to count.
My experience includes child care, working at a park, bussing tables, telemarketing, working in a factory, working at a dry cleaners, waiting tables, collections, home care, office clerk, office administrator, administrative assistant, sales associate, customer service representative, registered representative and freelance writer. Yes, I saved the best for last on my list!
Considering how to achieve balance in our work-life there is one thing that often is overlooked, but it is crucial: motivation.
What motivates you?
Of course, we are all motivated to some extent by money, however, for many people that is not the most inspiring motivator. I know it is not for me. The quandary comes from the fact that we need money, even if it not something we like to think about. For people who have experienced poverty there are strong negative connotations to money. In many cases, people who have come from wealthy families have negative connotations with money, too, because they may have felt their parents neglected the time that could have been spent with them to pursue making or keeping their money.
My motivations are freedom, for myself and others; power, in terms of the power to rise up and uplift those around me, and joy, as in sharing good things and good times with people who inspire me. I think a lot of people share these motivations. Certainly a lot of people I have worked with over the years are motivate by these things. Many traditional jobs are hard to balance and maintain with these motivations.
When work is play, it is not hard to stay motivated. If you can take a playful approach to your work, it will help you get and stay motivated. How do you achieve that? The key for me, is to find something that intrigues me or challenges me in my work. Then I make a game out of it with myself.
When it comes to writing, it is very easy for me to be motivated. I love it! I don’t know how this happened, exactly, because when I was in grade school and junior high I hated writing. Well, maybe I started liking it in junior high when I wrote my first short story about being abducted by aliens while riding my motorcycle. (I have never owned a motorcycle, although I may have been abducted by aliens).
Gradually, I developed a love for writing, I think, largely, because I was given a lot of encouragement, the more I wrote. Still, even after majoring in English Literature and taking many college writing courses, I did not have a clear career plan. I floundered in the job market after college.
It was not until my children were born and I saw an opportunity to work from home by writing for a few local publications, that I decided to jump in. I built up a small business writing about, among other things, small business! I was published extensively in a publication called the Finger Lakes Business Almanac, which I parlayed into writing for a few web sites. It was the best 4 years of my working life.
Then my husband died, the Almanac closed due to a baby on the way, and the other main web site changed their editor and their focus. I did what I thought was the logical thing and pursued a “career” in financial services. I had been writing about personal and business financial issues, after all.
I had built up my credentials to the point of being close to becoming a financial advisor just when the world economy collapsed. I floundered again. Throughout all these years, I never stopped thinking about writing. I thought I would make enough money to write whatever I wanted through my “career” path.
After going through a few more ups and downs, I have arrived here. It feels like home. I hope as I share and explore with all of you, we will come to a greater understanding and appreciation of one another. I want freedom, power and joy to accompany all of us, through the remaining days of our careers and our lives, however they may careen along our chosen paths.