April 29th, 2008

Specify Your Ideal Job Today

My internet connection has been, to put it mildly, crazy the past 5 days (still is). I’d be typing a long and carefully thought out comment on someone’s blog and then in the middle of posting, have it disappear into the dark cyberspace, never to be found again. The whole of my Monday was spent trying to rectify this problem. Alas, according to the service provider there’s nothing wrong with the connection, and the technician who checked the modem found no fault with it either (the problem was intermittent – he waited nearly 40 minutes for the connection to drop but NOTHING happened! Grrr! ) so I’ve been taking a lot of my work offline.

Speaking of work, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that, being my own boss, I can choose my working (and blogging) hours. I’m typing this on a word processor, at 2:30am (I’d probably post this at a random time later, when the connection is up). Yes, I’ve never been so busy in my life — as I approach deadlines, I’d be sleeping just 6 hours a day ( the past week, I averaged 5 hours a night) — but I never had so much fun and joy doing work either.

Roger Ebert - Don\'t spend your life working at a job you\'d rather be retired from\

10 years ago, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a living, but I do know:

1. I want to work in the creative industry;
2. I want a job that starts at 10 am and ends at 4pm (so that I can see the deep warm glow of sun set);
3. I want to work in a place where I don’t have to answer to/for anyone.
4. I want to enjoy what I’m doing

I remember writing these Ideal Job requirements on a piece of paper. I shared it with a good friend who told me it was a good list albeit an unrealistic one.

7 years ago, I started work as a designer in a company. Though the pay was good, I wished I had a job that didn’t require me to wake up at 6.40 am, I wished I didn’t have to answer for less than competent colleagues and most of all, because I tend to finish work after 7pm, I wished I could experience the magic of the moment when the sun bids me goodbye for the day (this is really important to me till today).

I didn’t mind the job but I didn’t enjoy the environment. However, because of the promise of a stable career, it took me a long time before deciding to start my own business. The early years of doing business was full of hard lessons — contracts not written properly, deals lost to bigger companies, partners bailing out. It was only less than a year ago, things started looking up.

If I look back at my list now, I have pretty much accomplished all that I’d wanted a decade ago. Sure, it was 10 years in the making, but I have done it. Every other day, at 6.30pm, I’d rush downstairs to soak in the golden hue that precedes twilight. Sometimes I have my breakfast at 11am, sometimes I have my dinner at 11pm. Life feels like it couldn’t get better, but I’m sure it could. I have made a new list in January this year:

1. I want to try everything I’d like to within the creative industry and beyond;
2. I want to start work when I’m ready and end work when it’s time;
3. I want to travel the world and work from anywhere I want to;
4. I want to earn enough to do anything (but not enough as to do nothing);
5. I want to enjoy what I’m doing and give others joy while doing it.

My advice to you is obvious — have goals. Specify what your Ideal Job is. You might not know how to achieve it yet but you can constantly work towards it, everyday, slowly but surely. It might take me another 10 years to achieve my new goals, but I have a strong feeling I’m on the right track. :)

If only my internet connection would cooperate with me now!
Pat Williams Quote
What is your dream job? Are you doing it now? If not, what are you doing to inch closer to it?

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Excellent post, insightful and candid. A rare find. What a great piece to share, and so I will. Your blog is very inspirational.
the fearless blog  at 5:20 pm on April 29, 2008
i'm not sure i'm doing my dream job right now, but at least i enjoy it.i dont have to wake up at 6 and go home at 6. sometimes i even have to stay at office for days to finish deadlines. im in the creative field too :D anyway, i really love every illustrations u've created!
wiwien  at 12:40 am on April 30, 2008
I'm exactly chosing right now where to be, which work to do, so your post if very useful and inspirational! Thanks =)))
Maria  at 4:05 am on April 30, 2008
Thank you everyone for your kind words! :)
Ginger M  at 9:11 am on April 30, 2008
I like the idea of setting "ideal" goals like the "starts at 10 ends at 4" type. Even if we don't get them exactly, we come closer to them.
Damien  at 2:12 pm on April 30, 2008
Wow, I feel like lately I've been working really hard to change my life, but I haven't been approaching it with any kind of plan. The idea of making specific goals and writing them down could really help me focus.
Christopher  at 9:28 pm on May 1, 2008
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