One of the best things about social media for me is the ability to connect with like-minded people from all over the galaxy. I’ve been independent, i.e. not had a desk job, on and off for nine years now – with a few spurts of full-time employment and time off to start a family in between. Don’t ask me where the time has gone, I couldn’t tell you.
What I can tell you is this: I am happier being independent. No question about it. While I admit there are many benefits to having full-time employment, I don’t believe that any of them compensate for being unhappy.
Maybe I never found the right job with the right company, or maybe I’m just not suited for corporate life. But, as long as I can get by, and live the life I want to lead without a desk job, then that’s my right to do so. Apparently many others out there are feeling the same way.
Not that I need anyone else’s experience to validate my own, but I have noticed a tidal shift in the way people are describing their post-corporate lives on social media…
“I left my job because I couldn’t take the emotional abuse anymore,”
“I felt empty and unfulfilled,”
“I was making money, but buying expensive toys didn’t make me happy,”
“I was working so hard I collapsed one day, and my doctor told me if I kept on at that pace I wouldn’t have much time left,”
“My daughter asked me, why does she never see me? Telling her I had to work didn’t seem like a good enough excuse,” and so on…
Corporate Drudgery Is Bringing People Down
If the text is too small for you to read, I’ve copied it here:
“After 11 years of climbing the corporate ladder and buying nice material toys, I feel empty and uninspired inside. I know that many of my millennial peers feel the same way and I’ll therefore go on a Round-the-World trip today, visiting 20 countries on 4 continents for about 4 months to find out what I want to do next! I also will be freelance writing for Business Insider about international retail and franchise innovations during my trip. Itinerary attached, see you all in 4 months… Meysam”
I had a quick look at Meysam’s profile – as you do – and see that he has held directorial jobs for the likes of Pizza Hut and Google. The sort of jobs that impress most people at dinner parties, and make your parents proud. But what happens when your job don’t make you happy? In fact, it leaves you feeling empty and uninspired, as Meysam admitted his career had? What if family commitments or mortgage payments or health issues or whatever stops you from taking a hiatus and traveling the world,
But what happens when your job doesn’t make you happy? In fact, it leaves you feeling empty and uninspired, as Meysam admitted his career had? What if family commitments, or mortgage payments, or health issues, or whatever, stops you from taking a hiatus and traveling the world, Meysam’s rather ingenious answer to his existential crisis? Do you carry on stuck in your rut, or do you make a change some other way?
I love that Meysam has had the foresight to line up some freelance work while he is traveling, and is turning his trip of a lifetime into a legitimate source of content for a well-known publication. A smart strategy for budding freelance writers and consultants out there. Meysam is keeping his skills fresh, covering some expenses, and opening new doors for himself in the process — ones which hopefully won’t lead him back to a desk job he can’t get excited about anymore. Follow Meysam on LinkedIn to keep up to date with his physical (and metaphysical?) journey. I personally am intrigued to see where he ends up, something that would never have been possible without social media (SM bashers be damned!)
Speaking to Real People Making it On Their Own Terms
Claire Cardwell is a British artist living and working in South Africa. I met Claire on social networking site Bebee, and after a few rounds of comments on each other’s posts, we got to talking on messenger and found out we have a bit in common. We both went to King’s College London, and we both love photography, travel, art, and writing.
Claire has her own architectural design studio and also makes and sells her own art. It’s people like Claire that make the world a more interesting place. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all worked for Pizza Hut and Google? Wouldn’t the conversation at dinner parties get stale pretty fast?
Over the next few weeks, on the SMS blog, we’ll be showcasing talented independent individuals from the four corners of the earth, to learn about their challenges, their achievements, and their motivations for doing what they do.
If you’re feeling stuck and need some inspiration, then these interviews may be what you need to make a positive change. And no matter how small that change is, it’s a step in the right direction, and if you need us, we’re here to help!
Keep reading for my full interview with Claire Cardwell below…
Hi Claire, thanks for joining me. Tell our readers a bit about you?
Where are you located, Claire?
Why did you move to SA and what do you like about living there?
What do you do?
How long have you been doing it?
Tell us about your art/writing?
What do you enjoy most about it?
What does a typical day look like?
What are some challenges you face? (Can be at work, career-wise, or growing your business)
How do you intend to overcome these?
What keeps you motivated?
What advice do you have for people looking to get started working in your industry / start their own business in the industry?
Do you do marketing for your company? If yes, in what capacity?
What are your growth goals for 2017?
Do you feel you are investing enough time and resources in marketing to achieve growth goals?
How did you hear about beBee?
What are your social media pet peeves?
What are your social media tips?
Do you have a blog?
How important is your personal brand to you and why?
Thank you, Claire for that! Where can people learn more about you online?