From Freelance To 9-5
It's been 6 months since I made the switch from "Freelance Danny" to "Corporate Danny", and I'm still learning from that transition. To be honest, we never stop transitioning as we grow in our careers. Whether that's making a huge change like I did, or if you're changing positions or starting a new job. Our careers are always moving forward, and we'll always be going through transitions.
In 6 months at URBN I've taken thousands of photos, written reams of words, and met dozens of new coworkers. I've spent the majority of my week at a singular workplace, and I've completed hundreds of to-do lists. Long gone are the days of having Skype meetings while wearing boxers, or jumping on a plane for a project.
Through this transition and all these changes I've learned a lot. I've reflected a bit on how I used to work as a freelancer and how that helped prepare for what I do now. As well as what I've learned now that I have a more traditional role. Here are some things I've realized...
- Your Time Is Valuable. You have 24 hours in a day. 8 (or more) of those will be spent working. 1-2 of them will be spent getting to and from work. 8 more will most likely be spent sleeping (so you can work the next day). That's roughly 18 hours of your day gone, leaving you 6 hours or less each day to fit in eating, meal-prepping, chores, self-care, leisure, side-hustles, etc.
My point? Time for yourself is valuable, so choose how you spend those hours wisely.
When I was a freelancer I took my time for granted. I can only imagine the creative work I could have produced if I had focused my time more. But now, I'm trying to hone in on what's actually important to me in those free hours that I have.
- You're Never Going To Stop Growing, IF YOU don't stop growing. There's the fear that it's easy to become stagnant at a 9-5. But don't! Always try something new, always push yourself to be better then you were the next day. You're the only one in charge if you don't want to stop growing.
- It Truly Is About Who You Know. I wouldn't have the job I do now if it wasn't for making a connection through Instagram years ago, and doing my best to keep up with that connection.
Foster your network, and they will foster you.
- Continue To Explore. Your passion projects shouldn't end because you have a 9-5. Never stop exploring what makes you tick. In turn those passions push you in other areas of your life and work.
- Finding Inspiration Will Be Even More Important. You're going to be working in the same space, with the same people, on probably the same thing for the majority of your time. So finding outside inspiration to fuel your creativity is going to be harder to come by. Don't let that happen, seek it out!
I keep a running list of blogs, photographers, website, etc that I keep up with to give me an immediate inspiration or creative boost when I need it. Do the same!
- Find The Highlights And Celebrate. You're going to have to be your own cheerleader sometimes. Be proud of the work you're proud of, and share it. Let others know what you love to do, and in turn help celebrate what they're proud of.