The Adventurous Path of Self-Employment

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Paul Millerd shares an evergreen post on the challenges and benefits of following a self-employed path.

Over the past two and half years I’ve been navigating unknown territory, grappling with the deep philosophical questions of how to live life and wondering how my parents’ generation, the boomers, lived life as if they had a map.

For most of my life, I pretended I had a map. It seemed that was what you were supposed to do as an adult. In job interviews I lied about my career path and intentions to stay at that company. In my grad school interview I outlined a very specific plan that also happened to align with the goals of the program. The scary things is that I had almost started to believe my map was right.

Before I left my full-time job in 2017, I had the sense that things were going to be okay. That there was a plan. That life made sense.

Self-Employment Opened My Eyes & Made Me Curious

The truth was I had no idea and it took taking the leap to self-employment to open my eyes. Here is what I wrote a year into it:

A career is an artificial path which you must always manage, have a story for and be networking so that you can take the next step. The next step being up, of course.

Being self-employed, there are no promotions or paths to judge yourself against. Other people’s confusion with this fact comes out when people invariably ask “what’s your plan?” or “how’s business doing?”

While this question has no answer, I respond with what I know to be true: “I am following my creative energy and seeing where it takes me.” This tends to drive a lot of people who are deep into career thinking a bit mad.

As I’ve spoken to hundreds of people that have been carving their own paths and researched how people navigate life and stay sane along the way, a new kind of map has emerged. Not one that gives a perfect sense of certainty or comfort, but one that helps give language to feelings that are hard to name.

Key points include:

  • Taking the leap
  • A map for navigating the pathless path
  • Embracing a “new train of thought”

Read the full article, Life Without A Map: Navigating The Pathless Path of Self-Employment, on Boundless.com.