I recently tweeted the mantra below as part of a writing workshop I participated in.
Good for the mind. Food for the soul. A positive thing.
But change can be a fearsome beast in the wrong hands, easier to hide from instead of facing front on. Easier to stick with what you know, not what you should be doing.
I used to be something of a change embracer.
Over the past decade, I changed location, house, even my passport. It’s not always been smooth sailing, often emotionally fraught, generally riddled with unknowns. On balance though, change has been a good thing and key to the process of moving forward.
I’ve found one aspect of my life difficult to change.
My working life.
|Photo credit: Bits of Truth|
Fix it when it’s broke
I’ve been an office worker my entire adult working life. I’ve been in government for ten years, in a blue chip corporation prior to that. In both sectors, I’ve worked in traditional office jobs, devoid of flexibility and misaligned with my outlook on life.
Both roles have been a means to an end, a way to pay the bills while I worked on the other aspects of my life abroad – family, lifestyle, our home.
In the past twelve months, I’ve reached something of a tipping point. A craving to change this final piece of the puzzle. When a job leaves you feeling like a square peg being bashed into a round hole, it’s time to fix it.
But how to do it?
Change isn’t easy
Change doesn’t happen overnight – you have to work at it, chip away at the edges, shape and mould it until it feels right. Even so, I still wonder why it’s taken me this long to change such a major part of my life.
Fear of the unknown? Uncertainty about what comes next? Indecision and procrastination?
Or maybe all of the above.
I advocate the need to live life differently and I blog, write and share about living the dream, but I haven’t entirely practiced what I preach. I still work the 9-5 grind and I yearn for the day when I no longer sit in the early morning carnage otherwise known as peak hour traffic. In my experience, you can tweak and fiddle with your life here and there but, if the working day isn’t right, then the total experience doesn’t quite add up.
In part, I blame this blog. It’s opened up a can of worms.
It’s reignited my passion for writing. It’s shown me that when I write, I feel alive. Motivated. Fulfilled. Content.
Not only this, but it feels right.
Writing doesn’t pay the bills. Not yet. It’s a passion that may one day become something more. As the primary earner in our family, it isn’t enough. It’s an indulgence and a good habit but it isn’t a full-time job.
So what to do about that day job?
Aiming for location independence
Something I heard recently that piqued my curiosity was location independence or the ability to work from wherever you want, whenever you want and in a number of fields.
But is it realistic or just another new fad?
It seems that location independent roles are an entirely flexible way of working but they only suit certain careers or job choices. If you want to work from your log cabin in Northern Ontario, you can. Booking cheap holidays to Rhodes and planning to work from the beach? No problem.
Location independence is a fresh take on the way jobs are defined and offer complete freedom and independence. But are these roles only useful for travellers or freelancers hoping to earn a minimal wage if they’re lucky?
Is it realistic in this day and age, with the financial and physical constraints that come with daily life, to work independently and forge a meaningful and sustainable career?
Increasingly, with expats like myself, we look to find new ways to increase and share the time we spend with family and friends in the countries that we live in and have loved. The ability to work between the UK and Australia is a case in point. Six months here, six months there. It sounds like the ultimate flexible working arrangement… or is it?
So I put it to you.
Have you worked independently of any particular location? Have you worked the 9-5 office job and sought out such a change? If so, how did you do it and what did you do? Is location independence a realistic goal?
Or do you simply crave change in your life and is fear of change or the unknown stopping you?
Please do leave your thoughts below.