The Act of Not Believing in Yourself
I never really thought that identity lay in my job. I actually saw having a 9-5 as getting in the way of what I really wanted to do; writing here on my blog, taking beautiful imagery for Instagram, writing my own book, building my own empire. I hated the idea that I was building someone else’s fortune. It’s not until I lost my 9-5, that I found out how much more than a 9-5 that really was. It was my identity.
So going back to when I first arrived in New York. Everything was new. Everything was cool, and whatever I got involved in felt like it was taking my 100 km/h towards my dream career. I don’t actually think I knew at the time, what my dream career is. I always said, that writing for Vogue was the ultimate. But that’s not what I started out doing at all. I started out as an intern for a well-known PR company located in the heart of Chelsea. I loved dressing up for the part, and every one there had such cool style that constantly pushed me to create trendy, out-of-my-comfort-zone outfits. We’ve talked about that before. How I lost my style from slowly losing myself in a job that wasn’t really for me. Honestly, one of my favorite things to do when I’m bored is looking back at the #OOTD photos I used to take every day in my lunch break. I would grab a colleague and ask if they wanted to go for lunch. My secret plan was always to get them to take a photo of my outfit that day. I think they caught on to it after a while. They probably hated it, hah! But back to the job. I would help planning events, memorize the face book of VIP’s, and be a part of the lush events we would throw for clients like Chanel, the MET Gala, the Outsider Art Fair and so on. I would try pitch different media outlets, I would manage the library (which in reality was just a giant wall of magazines in which our clients had been mentioned), I would go pick up a way-too-big-to-carry coffee order at the Starbucks down the street, and I would stay long hours. And I would love it. They eventually hired me full-time, and I worked for their Social Media and Digital Marketing department (small department of 3-4 people, not as big and fancy as it sounds). But with time I got greedy, and I wanted more. I wanted a job in fashion. Wasn’t that what I came to New York for anyway? So after two years in a cool PR-company we parted ways and I went on for my new even-cooler job for a bag designer. Or so I thought.
Turns out, wanting things too fast is not how you create a good career for yourself. It’s how you lose it. Which was what happened 8 months later. I lost my job. It was honestly a relief to be let go from that company, since it wasn’t a good fit at all. I had slowly started doubting myself from always being told when I was wrong and never getting any feedback when things were good. From pulling long hours and not seeing the result of it, because minds would be changed last minute. When I lost the job I immediately saw it as a great opportunity to do my own thing. As I told you, I always wanted to do my writing, my photography and Instagram posting, I started a YouTube channel. It was amazing. But it also got old really quick. You see, I hadn’t realized what everyone had been telling me. That I had a really good job, and I should keep it until I saw my own things bloom and create more of an income than I got from my 9-5. But I didn’t listen. I guess you always have to figure things out yourself, no one can tell you how to do things.
I’ve learned. I did it to myself. I was career/money/fancy title greedy, and that’s not how you build a solid career for yourself. On top of that I didn’t realize how much my identity lay in taking pride in my job, how much I loved telling people what I did, and how efficient a busy job made me. When you stop running with 100 km/h you also stop producing as much in a day. That can be a good thing if you’re talking about stress and wellbeing, but I come to realize I love being busy. I love those long days at a job I cherish. A job that makes me, me. I now believe, that I’m meant to work for some awesome company. A company that I thrive in, who I can make a difference for. I don’t see it as building someone else’s empire anymore. I see it as creating my own path. My own empire.