My time and money redesign seems to have got a bit of a hold of me at the moment. What struck me fairly heavily the other day was that this was not a design about my income streams. That’s far too basic a design and only focuses on one yield – money. This is a design about my career. Ta da! It’s a career design. I only just realised. Well done me.
I spent some time the other day doing a mind map of what I thought a future family would need from me, and also what I wanted out of a career. The results were really interesting. Money was only a small part of what I wanted (but a really important one). Given that, at a push, we could manage without me earning much, I had to concede that for me, earning money was important for different reasons.
Firstly, if I wasn’t earning money (or if I had no plans to earn money in the future) I would feel like I was not contributing enough to the household. Obviously, money is only one kind of contribution to the household (and Will made a point of saying this), but really, it’s an important one. Secondly, removing yourself completely from the world of earning a living is dangerous, especially for women. There may come a time in the future when you need to do it for yourself, for whatever reason. This is what the feminism of our mother’s generation was all about. Thirdly, earning money from a self-employed income is satisfying in ways that working in a job isn’t (but it has its downsides too). The money you make has been made entirely through your own endeavours. That’s an amazing feeling. There wasn’t any money there before. Then you did something, developed a product or a service, sold it to people, and now there is money there. It’s AMAZING!
So if my career design isn’t really about the money (and it is a bit), then what is it about? One of the things that came up repeatedly was about having agency, being able to act on ideas. I have *a lot* of ideas (too many, a plague almost) and I recently realised that many of them are quite good. These days I am feeling much more capable of actually making ideas happen, and I have realised that all the ideas I had in the past – the ones that fell flat on their face, the ones that I didn’t put into action – weren’t bad they were just at the wrong time. So, one thing that I want as I build my career (eek, still feels weird to say that, careers are for people in banks…) is that I am able to act on the ideas that I have. I feel like I am getting closer to a place where I know how to get the help I need to make a project work, and I know how to make a project work in order for it to be financially beneficial. I am not there yet though…
The other thing that came up a lot is that reputation matters to me quite a bit. Being known for something. Being known for being good at something. I want my voice to be heard – from a selfish point of view, but also because I have ideals and ideas that I want to share with other people.
And, you know what? I know how to build this. I have the skills to build this already. I just need to do it. Recently, I have been repeatedly having the feeling that everything I need is right under my nose, and I had it again when thinking about this design. I know how to achieve the things I want. I have always known how to achieve them. I just need to knuckle down, get on with it and not get attached to outcome. I think this is a point where I need to let go of the design process and keep stepping forward. I know where I am going. Some designs, like my larder design are easy to implement because they aren’t affected by outside forces, but this one is different. This one is much much harder. That’s why it’s hard!