All posts tagged: Working

A Few Things I Learned as a Freelancer

Until very recently I was a part of the “gig economy,” along with millions of Americans in my age group. The experience was exciting, but if I’m being completely honest it was also terrifying. The stress of finding work – consistent work – and being able to earn a living wage is something I could write an entire essay on. For now, however, there are plenty of other great articles out there on this subject already (including Why Freelancers Are So Depressed by Anya Kamentez). Instead, I want to share some of the healthy habits I cultivated while leading an on-again-off-again work life. Being a freelancer can be fun and rewarding, but also exhausting, depressing, and isolating. Because my work was inconsistent, when I wasn’t on a gig I often found myself feeling unmotivated, frustrated, and lonely. In order to overcome that hurdle, I needed to create positive habits, which I wish I would have realized earlier. So for the days when you don’t have a gig, or if you work freelance from home, here’s my …

Getting Lucky

I used to work for a person who was a total jerk but gave me some sound career and life advice: You create your own luck. While there are numerous factors which may impede both our daily and long-term pursuits (race, gender, class, disability, etc.), we can always be our best selves. As someone who is motivated, though often scared of truly putting myself out there, sometimes I seem to get in the way of my own potential. I second guess my ability and worry about what people may think of me or my work, and as a result, I usually play it safe. But if you pay attention to many of those with successful careers who weren’t born with immense privilege (Queen Oprah comes to mind), at one point – or more like many – they put it all on the line. They certainly got lucky when making their way to the top, but they had to work hard to get lucky. What is required of someone who creates their own luck? They’re assertive, confident, and driven. They are unflappable and unafraid …

Embracing Failure

When I first started this blog (once upon a time called juliavanvalkenburg.com, ha!) I wrote a post about embracing failure and why making mistakes is essential to our personal growth and discovery. That post was deleted during an overhaul not long ago, but I decided that it was a topic worth revisiting. What is failure, anyway? When I first wrote about failure, my approach to the topic was far less nuanced. Now, I no longer subscribe to using that word. Beyond getting an F on a paper or exam, can someone even objectively fail? We don’t fail, but we certainly mess up. We realize something isn’t right for us and we move on. We react. We make a mistake and respond by shifting our approach or perspective. We hopefully make decisions that are better for ourselves and others as a result of our mishaps. This isn’t failure, this is growing. So when I do use the word failure, I don’t mean it in the objective, pass or fail, hyper-success-driven American way of thinking. I mean hitting a wall and realizing there’s another path around it. …