Design a Living

Appropriately, with only two semesters left of college, I’m getting a tad worked up about what might occur afterwards. This isn’t a new topic on my blog by any means, but when you have more unconventional goals and aspirations, I find myself thinking about it more wondering if it’s even realistic.

I’ve been researching more on blogging and freelance writing. Pitching to different entities for ideas and spots online or in print in hopes of receiving compensation. Many things I’ve read emphasize having a niche topic you focus on and know plenty about, and I feel like I have that pretty well established, but do I have enough ideas to keep myself grounded? Will people be interested in what I have to say?

While I have considering bumping up my blog into something bigger, perhaps with an actual separate domain and place to grow more, I see websites like YouTube and tend to cringe. I see how often these content creators support themselves from racking in views or promoting products, it’s turned so much into a big advertisement. And recently, new filters on the site received controversy for not monetizing “controversial” videos which ended up targeting those about the LGBT+ community and mental illness.

As someone who isn’t known for taking the easiest option, I shouldn’t be surprised I’m thinking about this so much. Figuring out the future and career goals isn’t easy for anybody, but it certainly helps to have an established ladder to climb up, corporate structure to follow, or educational path to invest in. Choosing to be self-reliant has definite pros and cons. Like anything, it isn’t something you can plan out entirely and expect it to work out exactly that way.

Maybe like many others, I can only be freelance and independent part-time, but my ultimate goal is to be my own boss. I want the freedom to do what I love and be anywhere I choose. I want to work on a schedule that doesn’t require constant performance in a specific 40-hour period.

I’ve never been someone concerned with money. I’ve never been interested in a career path with dollar signs in mind. I just want to do something that makes me happy and motivated and if I can make an income doing it, great. But as I get older, I do see the practicality of that mindset to be questionable. I want to stay as optimistic and possible, but I fear failure if I cannot be financial stable, or have to settle doing something else because it didn’t work out.

I really wish self-employment was something people talked about more. Throughout my education, you hear so much about the traditional career paths to choose from, but I’ve never had a speaker or representative at a career day-type event talking about this subject, nobody to look upon as a guide for at least one example of how to make it work. This lack of awareness gives off the message that it isn’t necessarily something to strive for, to answer the question, “What do you plan to do after college?” with an open-ended answer like, “I might take a gap year to go volunteer somewhere, do the Peace Corps eventually, and do freelance writing and blogging.”

There are so many options out there in this world, and you always have the option to change your mind and pursue something else, but not having an internal or external confirmation saying “Yes, this is a legitimate path to pursue, here’s how to do it,” is hard to come to terms with. Of course, I’ll give it more time, and I still have a year before that really becomes a major concern, but I’m a planner. I’m always thinking ahead, asking myself questions that I know don’t have solid answers but apparently I enjoy driving myself bonkers.

I have so many varied interests, and that’s a major reason why I see myself self-employed. But I’m not great at pinpointing things, turning ideas into realistic plans. Who knows, maybe I’ll just establish a cabin out in the woods and live off the land. Seems easy enough, right?

If you take anything from my ramblings, I hope it’s that you can manifest anything you set your mind to if you’re willing to work hard. Opportunities don’t just drop out of midair and fall in your lap; you have to make them happen for yourself. And you might not start out doing exactly your dream job. I understand I might have to pick up a traditional salaried job starting out to give myself wiggle room, but if you keep your eyes on what truly fills you with passion, you can achieve it. Write that down on a motivational poster.

This certainly isn’t the last time I’ll be talking about this career-oriented topic, but maybe it be the push I need to get a ball rolling. I have no better choice right now than to be open-minded and optimistic. When I’m teetering on the edge of ending one chapter of life to start enough, I want to learn and prepare as much as I can, still knowing some unexpected events might pop up, and just see where it all takes me.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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