The best part of the Gig Life, for me, has been drawing from the well of self-confidence as I surf between gigs. First days aren’t so stressful. I can trust that I’ll produce good work, make new friends, and see new sights. Sure, the anxiety is there; it’s just easier to jump into the unknown. I am also the storyteller of my narrative. Everyone I meet knows I write now. I’m not as shy anymore…
The Gig Life means always keeping your resume updated. On the last weekend of every month, I’ll look at my resume, and add a little more to it. My primary resume is three pages. I start with my contact information, mission statement or summary, then experience. Education fills out the second page and the third page lists out any relevant professional skill. No lies or exaggeration. My resume is my ticket to the next gig.
Our careers permeate into everything we do. When I get invested in my work, I am no longer Anthony or the writer with the nickname Zombiepaper, I am an entity in complete service to my employer. (Oops.) We all sacrifice our humanities for money and security, though. In this first in a 12-day exploration of careers, let’s talk about “the gig life,” and how I retain, or restore, my humanity while working hard and smart.
As things come, they will go. No use basing your self-worth around external factors like popularity and the opinions of others. What is popular today probably will not be as popular to as many people tomorrow. What wasn’t popular yesterday could become popular today. Opinions change. People change. The opinion of yourself is probably the only constant. Is there a way to retain your self-confidence even when it seems like no one else wants you?
I wouldn’t be able to output the volume of literature I currently write [500+ words published daily] without my workflow process. I’ve covered my approach to resolving writer’s block in the “Overcoming Writer’s Block” thought piece. Let’s cover what happens when I have the semblance of an idea and how I go about turning that into a finished product. It’s not just about finding a random photo, writing for a bit, and calling it good enough.
After years of wallowing in self-pity, I realized something: I would only place my value in only one side of myself. I focused only on my career, playing videogames, or watching movies exclusively. That’s the fastest way to burn out! What happens when your career hits a rough patch? No good videogames? Watch some bad movies? My self-confidence, motivation, and overall demeanor would go in the dumps.
A digital cultural artifact of our networking history will be lost when AOL Instant Messenger shuts down on December 15. Museum curators at places like the Internet Archives and OoCities act as conservationists for the future. Unfortunately, technology is moving too fast now for most to consider the importance of capturing our digital remains before they disappear. Let’s use this service’s discontinuation as a reminder that we should consider how our pasts can shape our futures.
As soon as I realized my current goal, writing “The Story,” things fell into place. I stopped wasting time with things I didn’t care about. I reinvested in my health. Your goals don’t have to be lofty! Let’s revisit last week’s Dr. Mindbender, photographed below. His goal is just to play this Pac-Man arcade cabinet. While playing, he might notice people laughing at him. He doesn’t care. He’s focused on his goals!
Focus on yours!
Self-worth seems to come and go. There are days I’m on top of the world, feeling like everything is fitting into place, and my efforts are moving me miles toward my goals. Then some days… no matter what I try, it seems like I’m stuck in place. When those days happen for me, or when I notice it in others, I say, “let’s have a cup” of coffee or tea to sort it all out.
I used to consider other people’s opinions of me when considering my self worth. If the group liked me, then I liked me. If a group had a problem with me, then I needed to address that along with nine unrelated problems. On the surface, that should be easy to identify as false, yet we all do it. If there’s one thing I can stress in the realm of self-confidence, it’s this:
Trust in yourself!