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.
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.
Starting four years and eight months ago, I began developing mental fortitude against temptation, negativity, and the stresses that would otherwise compel me to numbness through alcohol. This pursuit of sobriety propelled me into self-improvement, which I partially credit for my endurance to evade sketchy situations in my conscious life. How about in my unrestrained dreams? Where anything is possible, including finding myself pouring vodka into this very glass, splashing in some orange juice, and…
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!
The renovation focus for my hyperfunctional office, dubbed “Zeal,” is about shining light on hindrances. This renovation project has enabled me to jump from “aha moments” to production quicker each week. Since each writing upload on this website relies on visual elements to punctuate my thoughts, lighting accidentally became a hindrance if I wanted to photograph something in my lightbox. Now I can quickly photograph a thought, then focus on writing, without trivial photographic distractions.
Building off the technological context from last week’s brainstorming update to The Story, and with consideration for Memorial Day, let’s cover how the military service of three characters influenced the civilian main characters John (left, saluting) and Trishna. I haven’t thought much about how much influence, if any, active military will affect the narrative. Maybe this exercise will help? If not directly, then this should help inform situations both within the proper narrative and beyond.
Spoiler Warning Scale: None (background only!)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW MILITARY CULTURE INFLUENCES CIVILIANS? KEEP ON READING!