Creating Meaningful Work
Recently I have found myself at a new beginning.
After working at my first real job as a software developer for a year, the company had lay offs, and I was one of them. This gave me the chance to determine what it is that I wanted to do next.
The obvious next step was to get a new job. But as I started my job search, something didn’t feel right. I knew that I wanted to keep working as a software developer, but I wasn’t sure that the right next step was to join a new company.
Because while I was on my Christmas Break I had decided something.
I decided that this next year was going to be a year where I started to build meaningful work. I wanted the things that I did to represent my true interest and desire, and not necessarily follow a particular career path. I wanted my work to be a reflection of me.
And that isn’t something that you normally find a job posting.
Instead, I decided to double down on my freelance work and make that my full time endeavor. But as soon as I made that choice, it seemed that my freelance work started to dry up. Clients that I had more than enough work to do suddenly were going in a new direction. I also read a lot of books during this period, which helped me to realize that I wasn’t unique.
Many times when you make a declaration to the universe, you get tested.
So I started pushing myself. Not pushing myself to work harder and do more with less. I had to push myself to really understand what it is that I wanted. Seems easy, but I promised it wasn’t. That is because, I, like so many others had been condition to make myself fit into the image of the work I wanted, instead of finding work that fit into the image of the life that I wanted.
That is the journey that I am on now. I am looking for ways to find meaningful work that still allows me to grow and challenge myself. I am doing it….slowly. But there have been some wonderful surprises. After I let go of the idea that I needed to have a certain job, I became more open to experiences that would let me grow. I found opportunities to get paid for things that I would normally volunteer to do. I have found ways to be me.
I am not nearly done with this process, and I do have more to do in order fully reach my goal, but I know that I am going to the right direction. This need of mine to find meaningful work has pushed me past my comfort zone…again. That seems to be the theme of the past year and a half. So what does this mean for me moving forward?
It means being fully committed to bridging both my social science work and my computer science work. It means being aware of what kind of life I am building, and making choices that support that. It means being brave enough to face the unknown.