I always knew that the 'traditional' career model didn't suit me. Even as a child, the structured school day filled me with dread. I always disliked the idea of having a predictable, planned out day that was decided by somebody else with no room for ease and flow and flexibility.
At 16 I wondered why a 5 day week was necessary, at 25 I wanted flexibility around my schedule and location. By the time I was 30 I had had enough of trying to fit someone else’s mould.
I always had a sense of dread at the thought of Monday morning where I had to force myself to maintain a job that drained me, be on someone else's clock, feed someone else’s vision and all the while play the role of what I was supposed to be doing!
I travelled A LOT - knowing that I'd have the freedom I was seeking at every turn, I got to explore new ways of doing things in different cultures and languages. But, we all need an income; I had a lot of jobs! Don’t get me wrong, I was dedicated and committed to each and every one of them, always delivering more than was expected of me. But, I wanted to be in the driver's seat, I wanted to decide what my working day looked like, how much time I gave to it, where I worked, how I worked and why I worked. It was essential to me to be able to follow my own rhythm.
Picture this – me at 30 years of age, sitting in an office cubicle (not even near the window) in a corporate setting on the outskirts of a town in Northern France. I was working in translation as I was always good at languages (and love the perspective they bring). I always worked efficiently – doing everything quickly so I could carve out the time I needed to explore and find a way out!! I was online one day, clinging onto whatever spirit I had left, holding out for Friday and there it was... the chink of light and hope I was searching for 'Be A Free Range Human'.
A lightbulb moment, full of relief and a sense of honesty - isn't is so nice when once in a while, among the noise online something pops out as if it is meant solely for you?
Marianne Cantwell inspired me more than I can say - I began to think differently and trust my own questions and perceptions - after years of dismissing them as irresponsible or immature. Suddenly I realised I was creative, forward-thinking, flexible, open-minded, innovative, driven and I realised that it all translated into entrepreneurial spirit. The drive I always had was not impatience or naivete or ‘get your head out of the clouds’ type thinking. In one phrase, in one moment, it was all reframed for me and I haven’t looked back since.
I’d love to tell you I quit my job on the spot - of course I didn’t, life doesn’t work like that and being a conscientious person I see things through but in that moment I made a decision to trust myself and listen to the voice inside I has been dismissing for far too long!
What is your inner voice saying?
Are you dismissing your genius and vision? Is it time to give yourself an out?