By Cynthia Simmons
For a while now I have not had an employer or a full-time job. But I have been working as a freelancer. And even when I’m not being paid to practice my craft, I spend significant time practicing it anyway. I want to remain a professional — by continually learning and updating my skills, by keeping myself disciplined and focused.
You hear over and over again that, “You are not your job.” And, “You are still the person you were when you had a job.”
I want to add to this conversation the question I was asked years ago by my old boss at DePaul University’s Office of Career Planning and Placement, “Do you want a job or a career?”
Because, I am continuing my career “outside of the box.”
How do I make that happen for me? I’ve used a bunch of methods: getting more professional training by taking classes (through universities, both in-person and online, and through a subscription to an online tutorial website), volunteering my skills to non-profits, doing freelance work, and even offering my skills to friends for free.
I am fortunate because I really like to learn. And solving puzzles, seeing new ways of doing things make me happy. Especially, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I look at a project and I see what I have done – the change, the improvement that I brought about. And what I learned.
By doing, I learn.
My questions to you are: Are you and I that different? Do you love the work that you were formerly paid to do? Or was there some part of that work you cared passionately about?
Practice your craft. Sharpen your skills.
Practice, practice, practice.
Cynthia Simmons is a writer and an editor.
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