This is going to be an ongoing series where I document my travels into freelancing as a Creative Director and Trainer.
After what feels like an eternity I have decided to say goodbye to full-time agency work.
Today this seems like the obvious choice, but it took me nearly two years to figure that out.
Let me tell you why:
Minus a short stretch at the beginning of my career, I’ve always been full-time employed and worked in creative agencies. There were and are some really good reasons for doing so.
- Security — You know when and where your next paycheck is coming from. For some of us, including me, who hate the idea of doing all kinds of paperwork and just want to concentrate on the creative part of the work, safety is crucial.
- Structure — I like getting up in the morning and knowing where to go, how things work, where the coffee machine is and what my schedule is going to be… well at least to a certain extent. And I love to work on the structure itself: Optimizing workflows, doing things more efficiently, making sure processes are right.
- Growth — I love teamwork. I like being around people, getting to know them better and growing as a team. I also wanted to climb the ranks and have some kind of validation for my personal career. I quickly realized, that I love people more than projects — and that became the driving factor. Especially in the last 5+ years, when I hired people and built teams, I loved to share knowledge and I wanted to help people achieve their goals.
But, I have come to realize, that — in spite of having those boxes ticked for many years and I loved agency work — I’ve grown tired and that I don’t love what I do anymore.
Organizations change very, very slowly — no matter how willing and able the people running them are. And that bothered me.
I also realized I love excitement more than security. And I love change more than structure.
Some time ago I’ve started to give workshops on storytelling (with the amazing Michael Matthiass) and presenting, and I loved it. I wanted more of that. So, I decided to join the Bridgehouse Trainer Academy, to learn more about the methods of teaching and communication. I started to write prose a bit more and do readings at my favorite café now and then, to grow as a person.
And slowly my interest in doing creative work is coming back and it feels exciting again.
I don’t even know where this will lead me if I will be successful — or what success even means. But it feels right and I feel more energized than I felt the last two years. That is the only thing that matters.
The moral of the story (so far): Life is short. And doing stuff you don’t like is a waste of time. Waiting for people to change is a waste of time. If you want to change, change.