By: Paul Drury
I love to job hop. In fact, I can honestly say that I have become fairly proficient at it.
From an early age, I knew that I wasn’t destined to sit in the same place for too long. I was always looking forward to the next challenge, inspired by bags of ideas, but never so good at seeing them through because the world was just moving too slowly. I was somehow searching for a more bite-sized existence.
My early corporate career in retail and recruitment had a strong project bias, so that worked well for a while, but the daily routine would get me down. I needed to find an outlet for my creativity that allowed me to complete a piece of work, mentally put it to one side, and then move on to the next challenge. It took me a while to find, but with my writing, I now have a perfect balance. I pour my soul into every blog or speech, my clients approve, and then we start the process again. These micro-projects mean that I “job hop” at least six times a day.
I love the freedom that this provides, and I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t be able to work in a corporate environment ever again. I’m not sure that anyone would have me. The hundreds of thousands of “gig economy” workers who set off on their own after the last downturn may well agree. However, as another recession looms on the horizon, the fact that I consider myself unemployable (in the traditional sense of the word) has started to play on my mind. Can I continue ploughing my own furrow? Am I good enough? Do I have the mental strength to believe?
Yes, yes and yes.
How am I so sure? Well, it is all down to the lily pads.
Over the past 3-4 years, I have built up a network of (client) lily pads in my ghostwriting client pool. In my daily work, I hop from pad to pad, writing my blogs and speeches. Some lilies are rock solid, others (for whatever reason) are a little wobbly, but as long as I have enough to welcome me, I know that I’ll be okay. Potential new lilies pop up every now and again – getting them established is hard work and a few naturally fade back down into the depths, but enough of them remain to make the constant cultivation worth it.
The only thing that I truly fear is the pond freezing up entirely.
If a recession hits hard, I suppose I would retreat to a warm burrow somewhere. I reckon that enough of my loyal clients would join me, and we’d ride it out together until the next spring when the lily pond comes back to life. I’d rather be in that burrow, waiting it out, than return to an “easier” corporate life. The lure of job hopping is simply too great, and it will certainly be worth the wait.
“Job hopping” by running your own ship can offer you freedom in ways you could never imagine. You might feel vulnerable, but don’t be afraid to take that first leap. If hard times then come, don’t be afraid to stick with it.