Professional Artist or Employee? It’s Your Choice

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Professional artist or Employee? It's your choice

As you move into work of your choosing and design, work that integrates your strongest talents and unique gifts, you will experience a joy not commonly connected with “work.”

How do you view change? Is it frightening and intimidating? Or is it an opportunity for positive transformation?

When Charles Dickens was a small boy, his father was sent to prison for poverty. As a result, the theme of imprisonment appears repeatedly in his many articles and novels.

In one short story he wrote about a man who had been in prison for years. Naturally, this man longed for freedom from his dungeon of despair and hopelessness. Finally, the day of his liberation arrived. He was led from his gloomy cell into the bright and beautiful world.  He momentarily gazed into the sunlight, then turned around and walked back to his cell. He had become so comfortable with confinement that the thought of freedom was overwhelming.  For him, the chains and darkness were a predictable security.

Are you hesitating to take the “leap of faith” and become the professional artist you want to be because of a sense of false security?

Fortunately, you are not trapped in your job or your life.  You can choose to walk into new freedom–or you can choose to stay in your private prison.

Like the man in the Dicken’s story, we can be tempted to become secure even in negative situations.  True freedom is possible only for those who are willing to surrender the security of imprisonment.

But what if you have decided to move out of the traditional employee role?  You’ve seen the multitude of new opportunities that aren’t about just clocking in, having an hour for lunch, a two-week vacation, and a predictable paycheck.

There are risks and costs to a program of action.  But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.                     –John F. Kennedy

If you are considering such a profound change in your life, you may be hesitant to discuss your concerns with those you know best.  They have their own problems and pressures.  Sometimes it’s even hard to share your excitement because your success may just remind others of the misery of their own work.

As you move into work of your choosing and design, work that integrates your strongest talents and unique gifts, you will experience a joy not commonly connected with “work.”

More and more artists are looking for greater control over their destinies and for the time freedom that working independently allows.  But freedom alone isn’t enough.

Your work must integrate your skills, your personality, and your interests.  That may seem obvious, but it is amazing how often these simple principles are violated.   The more you understand about yourself and match that knowledge up with your work goals and direction, the more you increase your chances for success.

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