Jobs that exist now…
but didn’t 20 years ago.
I still remember the hoo-hah around the start of the new millennium. It’s crazy to think that was almost twenty years ago. TWENTY years.
I was just ten back then. And yet I remember it so clearly. It would be another decade before I even started *really* trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
Back then, it was a case of me trawling through university courses and actual, established jobs. Seeing our well-meaning but unhelpful careers adviser at school. Doing those “career tests” which would throw up so-called “matches” as wide-ranging as zoo-keeper, milk-float driver and engineer.
All I had to go on, was my gut-feeling and imagination as to what I imagined the realities of these jobs to be like, with the added pressure of choosing something “impressive”. That’s why I first applied for medicine, before quickly changing my mind and jumping into another prestigious subject, law.
There was a whole other world of work and possibilities out there by the time I had left high school, jobs that had just about start to exist but hadn’t yet established themselves as “options”, because they weren’t mainstream. Today, these choices have only gotten more popular, and they are well within reach.
Oh, and they just so happen to be pretty good options for introverts, sensitive folks and creatives in general.
Whereas a prestigious course and a prestigious job (corporate or otherwise or some sort of grad scheme) were the “route to take” back then, my younger self wished I had known about the other possibilities.
Here are the options in the 21st century newly available to each one of us, or which I have sense become aware of and didn’t know was a “thing” back when I was a young lad.
1. Working for a startup or small company
Not all roses and playing ping-pong and drinking beer as is sold in the media. However, in a startup environment one gets to experience far more in terms of tangible skills. More autonomy too, more of a “just roll with it and lean” attitude, which can be frightening to begin with, but soon becomes a real confidence-booster. Working for a startup has grown my sense of what I feel I am capable of, and also help alleviate some of that pesky imposter syndrome.
2. Working with people in some way
Being a doctor or a dentist are not the only way of doing this. From teaching through to being a therapist or a nutritionist or even working in sales, there are a whole bunch of options when it comes to working in a people-facing role.
3. Working flexibly and/or remotely
In my current role, I get to work from home with no commute or travel to an office. This is so much better for me that you wouldn’t believe. I am way more productive, I get to better control my time and energy (no commute, so an extra hour of sleep/waking hours if needed, and no office distractions). I am ar more productive and energised working in this manner. More and more companies are offering flexible and remote working options, for both new and existing staff.
4. You can work for yourself… but this doesn’t mean it has to be a giant startup taking over the world
I went through a phase where I became obsessed with building this huge company and taking all the kudos and plaudits that came with this. After my first business, where I realised I was doing way too much and putting an unhealthy amount of pressure on myself, I have decided that the business I wasn’t to run is a business of ONE. Me, just me, making enough of an income for me to live and have the experiences I want, whilst putting a little away each month for the future. That’s it. Such freelancers or lifestyle business owners are cropping up more and more, and I’m actually a member of a community of such folks over at Fizzle.co
5. You don’t have to do just ONE thing
If you’re someone with lots of skills and/or interests, you can longer have to choose the one thing. As Barbara Sher would say, you can merely “Refuse to Choose’. It’s a real possibility that you’re a multipotentialite, rather than a generalist. The portfolio career is, again, becoming more of a legitimate “thing” for folks who have multiple interests, or are else doing a job full-time whilst building something else on the side. You might be a salesperson training to be a coach on the side, or a marketer training to be a coder. The options are endless, there are no rules here.
-> And this is what I’m doing, working in a day-job whilst I’m building a side-project (IntrovertJedi) on the side.
There’s a whole new world out there. Much of career fulfillment is about management of one’s time and energy, as opposed to the actual mission of the company.
As the internet has opened up a whole bunch of other options, with lower barriers-to-entry and a variety of career possibilities that just didn’t exist before, us introverts and empaths have a whole load of choice at our disposal. Now, if ever, is the best time to make our work work for us. (work work work work work work… thanks Rihanna).
Introverts and sensitive souls the world of work has changed for the better. Really, it’s our oyster.
Tuesday, 5th March 2019 | originally featured on the IntrovertJedi blog
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