Holidays are over, at least here in Italy where most people take their two or more weeks of vacation, during the month of August. It's time to think again about work, money, the future.
What you are going to do with that unsatisfied feeling you are having since the moment you have decided to take whatever work would come your way?
Photo credit: Damir Karan
Feeling unhappy, frustrated, unsatisfied with oneself and life, because you are spending most of your time doing things you do not really like is, unfortunately, increasingly common. As more and more people like you are choosing to jump as early as possible into work opportunities, making the "having of a job" or the making of large sums of money more important than the actual "selection" of your life path, is often times the cause of such deep loss of personal gratification.
The need for any human being to self-actualize, to realize her potential and talent, and to walk a path that is rich of passion and interest, that feeds the material and the spiritual parts in you equally, is a natural and established common trait of human beings.
Loosing perspective on how important it is for each one of us to walk our very own path, while helping others realize their own, is one of the causes of the intellectual and social malaise you may see and perceive around you. Business greed at its best.
And don't come and tell me that we live in difficult times in which it is tough to choose a path for life (I am referring to those of you living in first or second world countries). This we live in today, is the first time in history that offers you not only such a vast range of possible traditional work paths that you can choose from, but it is also a unique time in recent history in which, if you want, you can really do what you like while making a living at it.
Thanks to the internet, and to the smorgasbord of new low-cost or free communication tools that continue to emerge from the web, an increasing number of individuals, are using new media and the the work opportunities created by them to empower themselves into becoming their own boss, while doing something good for everyone else.
Could you be one?
Photo credit: Gabriel Moisa
My personal view is that it is really up to you and to your ability of sacrificing who you are now for who you could really become.
Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to take some risks, to open your ears and eyes and to start learning how to do what you really like?
You say: "Hey Robin, that's pretty talk... but how can I do what I want and like if I need to also do something that allows me to pay my rent and food?"
Until you give that reasoning, and what goes with it, precedence over saving a little money to start a "different" online activity on the side, you have no hope of taking advantage of the opportunities available to you.
Either you are at the beginning your work life, and you have all of the opportunity not to get hooked into the first work opportunity you run into, and to spend some time molding your personal path, or you do need to set aside a little extra time to start growing your personal alternative path while you keep earning at your traditional work.
I don't think there are other ways to get there. And that is how I did it too. Gradually, very gradually, one step at a time, but putting a brick on top of the next each and every single day.
"But where do you start from Robin? I don't like the work I do, would love to do something that I am passionate about, but have no idea of where and how I can create a new alternative work path for me that I can live on."
The way to start is to look at the things you would really like to do and to find someone who is already doing them. If you are keen about using the web, and it many and different search engines you can positively find someone doing interesting things in that area and that you also like because it reflects your spirit and desire to create something useful.
Reach out and talk to those persons or organizations. Offer some of your time and existing skills. Say that you are willing to invest serious time and to contribute to their cause and mission. Offer flexibility and show them your passion and desire to learn. But more than anything, identify and make yourself available to assist and support those very tasks that you would like to learn everything about.
There are many new, young and innovative companies out there on the web, and almost each one of them needs more talented and passionate human resources. Yes, it is true, many of them are often looking for highly specialized people, but it is also true that just about every one of them needs more staff to promote, market, review, support customers, moderate forums, text new applications, write reviews or select relevant news, but very few of them have the money to afford it.
That's where a perfect opportunity to learn by doing in a real world scenario really is.
Go, reach out and write to the thousands of new companies emerging on the web and ask to jump on their train. Offer serious commitment, an open mind and the ability to listen and you will be making the first fundamental steps to enter a universe of work and opportunities that is nothing like the traditional world of 9 to 5 jobs surrounding us.
Steal with your eyes every method and practice you see, improve on their practices and show your interest in making valuable suggestions. Stretch their beliefs and show that if given enough space you are not only good but you can make a tangible difference in some area of their work, and, given enough time, they will be th ones asking you to stay on.
In the end, make your passion work to your benefit by creating such good work that you make yourself indispensable.
And if that's not the case, you will have still learned lots of valuable things that you could use in your next job or venture. In all cases you are always going to be one gaining the most out of these relationships.
Don't look for the money is my advice. Look for the experience. And that does not translate into "let someone else take advantage of your skills for free" it means not to go out seeking these experiences on the basis of if and how much they pay you. In my personal experience that does not work out. Worse. It most often derails into compromises and into jobs that are not again what you really wanted to do.
If you will explore and learn the arts you most love money will naturally come as a consequence of the value you will be then be able to provide. If you seek money and security without taking ever a risk at demonstrating and questioning your own talent, you may find your path much tougher and less rewarding than those that seek first to do/create/show and then to monetize.
Morale of the story: if everyone did what sHe liked, I remain of the opinion, that this would be a much better world to live in.
Internet technologies, new media and the learning of appropriate communication tools and skills put in the hands of everyone the opportunity to provide useful information or networking services (business, social, etc) that may provide a true social benefit in a sustainable fashion. It is within this techno-social opening that the talent, vocation and ideals of many like you can and will be realized increasingly in the coming years.
Search, explore, experiment, discover, learn, and share what you know. This is the winning loop.
Originally written by Robin Good for Master New Media and entitled: "Become Independent By Using New Media: Empower Yourself Through Online Media Involvement And A Passionate Path".