I recently decided to take the leap to change my career and left a steady paycheck in order to follow my passion. The work is really rewarding, but the pay isn’t that great. I’m worried that I may have jumped too soon. I struggle all the time with whether or not I can hold a job and still do what I love. Is it possible to maintain the freedom to follow my dreams and still make enough money to pay the bills?
When I left my career in advertising to move to New York City, all I had was an acceptance letter to Parsons and little bit of money saved. Manhattan rent ate that away pretty quickly so I emerged from my 1.5 years of school with a degree I have yet to use and $60,000 worth of student loan debt.
My life became all work to make ends meet. The most jobs I had at once was five. I was pulled in a million directions except the one I thought I wanted to be. A fashion designer.
I felt guilt if I used any of my time for things other than making immediate money. I lost my way. I lost my creativity. Everyone’s story is different. Some use their instability as a way to keep them moving forward, while others (like myself) get distracted and thrown off course.
You need to decide which one you are.
I returned back to the steady paycheck. It gave me a breath of fresh air after suffocating from the bills mounting on top of me. It felt like giving up but an unexpected thing happened, my creativity increased dramatically. It was during this time I discovered my true passion of writing and threw myself completely into “My Life in Yellow.”
I love my job and the stability it gives me but the best part about it is… it feeds my bank account but it doesn’t feed my soul. I am able to sneak in some writing time while at the office. My work rarely follows me outside of business hours and most importantly, I go home energized to create. It is the perfect compliment for what I’m trying to do… write words that evoke emotion and make people feel something.
The time when I need to leap even further than I already have is coming soon. I look at everything I’m doing right now as preparation for that moment.
A friend of mine recently made a leap of faith to pursue her purpose and passion. After a major relocation and months of things not going exactly as she had planned, she is questioning her decision.
I see her on the other end of the spectrum than me. Her path requires flexibility and availability. The structure of a typical 9-5 job will only hold her down. When she asked my advice, I told her to remain uncomfortable. Getting a part-time job to help make ends meet is great, but don’t let it be something you find yourself overly dedicated to. If it ever gets in the way of a major step forward, you need to be willing to abandon it without a second thought.
The hustle requires creativity to figure out how to make money without dimming the flame within. It also requires lots of self discipline. It is easy to lose yourself in all the “free time” you now have without the constraints of a structured job. Creating a schedule might be necessary for some people as well as goals and check in points.
Don’t let the fear of discomfort or the challenge of not having a regular paycheck scare you off your path.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.