They say that if you are passionate about what you do, then you’ll never work another day in your life.
I’m not sure I can say I’m exactly passionate about working in an engineering office; the middle-aged men sat at row upon row of computer screens, the mild whiff of body odour, and the harsh fluorescent lighting offset by the muffled screech of the worn-out coffee machine in the corner. It’s not always the most glamorous of work places. It’s not always the most glamorous of jobs.
This summer I had a light-bulb moment. I don’t have to be defined by my job. It’s safe to say that the era the 9-5 job for life has long gone. Today, there is the flexibility to have a side business, an original project or a creative outlet which enhances your life in addition to your “day job”. It’s quite normal to hear of an accountant who also distills their own gin, or a management consultant who sells their artwork on Etsy. I became fascinated by people who explore their passions in this way. I wanted in on the action.
I read article upon article about career moves, hobbies and start ups. The person who I felt promoted this ideology of career freedom the most eloquently was Emma Gannon (author-broadcaster-podcast host-etc). It is no over exaggeration to say that her book The Multi-Hyphen Method changed my outlook on life. I couldn’t help but be sucked into her world of side-hustles and freelancing. The concept of choosing your own projects and managing your own time feels both alien and alluring to us office staff. We’re used to working set hours, our days are filled with prescribed tasks and meetings. This routine would have filled my childhood-self with horror.
As a child, if I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up I would have replied – without hesitation – either an author or an artist (depending very much on my mood that day… and also ’cause i’m not good at big decisions). Unfortunately, at the time, I was told that these were hobbies and not jobs. I got caught up in the traditional concept of what real work looked like and followed a traditional white collar career path.
I’m starting to get my head around what work may look like for many of us in 10 years time. For me, I’m hoping that I might be able to utilise my passions of baking, making and writing as part of my future career composition. I’d love to be able to add a side hustle to my professional repertoire. Step 1… Easydoughsy. Step 2…
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