Finding Yourself in the New Work World

Written by Farrah Pendleton

Graphic Design by Yamash Subedi

Play Video about A woman is wondering about her life's purpose and how that fits inwith her career

There’s been a battle going on for decades, and people are taking notice. Employees are waking up to see that they don’t need to fight for a 9-to-5. The world has flipped upside-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That may have been for better and worse. People have begun to realize they have worth. They’re creating a self-sufficient attitude along with it. So, what exactly is the Employee Revolution? Well, it’s all around us. The empty job slots of employees that quit because they’re fed up. They grew tired of the underappreciation. It’s the new attitude combatting an outdated “love” of work. We want to be able to love what we do. I wanted to truly love what I did. I found out that it was possible.

The Guilty Settler

Covid-19 struck my small town when I was about to graduate from university. Of course, I came down with it. It’s a sensitive topic to so many people for so many reasons. For me, nothing stung more than being in such an uncertain time and being ill on top of that. You hear it all the time, we need to graduate from college, get a job, and the rest will take care of itself. But, the truth is if you want something, you have to go for it yourself. It’s not you. It’s your method. College/university can be a great place to hone your skills. Yet, most still believe in working harder, not smarter. It’s better to master self-learning. We should all strive to be proactive. I had no idea and worked through it all aimlessly.

Pull Over and Look at Directions

Settling does not, by any means, mean that we’ve given up. Then why did I have so much guilt over it? Success used to be measured by how much money you made and how fast you got what you wanted. No one paid attention to their journey until now. The Employee Revolution has health and happiness as primary goals. Before I knew it, I was starting my life. I married, bought a house, and ended up in a cramped office job. The type where the most appreciation you got was a 10 dollar gift card. You know, if you took more calls than your colleagues every six months. I felt so stupid. That wasn’t what I wanted out of my work. I wanted to tell a story, be a designer and a writer! Oops, now I was working at a call center. That led to me filling out application after application. I hoped someone would reach out to me so that I would feel great about the work I would be doing.

Seeing everything close down sparked something in me. My head was spinning from how fast it took everything over. It completely changed everything. Being stuck under the weather when I caught Covid-19, I took it to heart. It was the most un-fun thing you could imagine. I’ll avoid too many details about the sickness itself, but I thought about the potential of death. Dramatic, but not uncalled for. Paired with society’s shutdown, I concluded that I should never let an opportunity slip past me. It lit a new fire underneath me, one that took me further than I would’ve gone otherwise.

No Pain, No Gain

The downfalls of unemployment are numerous. There is no freedom, no fulfillment, and of course, no money. Money may not be everything, but I don’t think any of us would pass up the chance to make some while working on what we love. It can be an incentive to do what we desire. I even considered what my peers were going through at jobs I wanted. I won’t say the specific pay they received, but it was lower than a graphic designer deserved. It didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to settle for something lower than I was worth. I went back and forth, thinking I was terrible for not making money that second. Then I switched to thinking I shouldn’t be upset because I deserve not to be taken advantage of. Not to say I didn’t need any experience in the field, because I do. I don’t just want to be a graphic designer. I wanted to do more with my art, and I wanted to complete it with a story.

What’s frustrating is that I practiced all the methods that are supposed to be “tried and true.” I had my resume, cover letter and applied to about 100 places a day. Filling out applications every day is pointless (You can read more about that in this blog). They were all either ignored or denied. How dare they!? That’s what a lot of us think when we’re qualified. Employers weren’t looking at my resume. How could they find the time? Employers are looking for connected people. The saying is true; it is who you know. How could I expect to be hired when no one knew me?

Person staring up at a billboard with hope.

Flipped Upside-Down

Luckily I was accepted as a creative content writer for a start-up company. Being hired here was the eye-opener I needed on the road to my success. I would not have questioned my call-center job or taken the leap of faith if I hadn’t known about the Employee Revolution. I wanted a fulfilling career. What’s better, I felt that my work reached coworkers and audiences alike. I found out that the Employee Revolution was a movement for me. Anti-work doesn’t mean being lazy. It’s involvement with your happiness over-focusing on working more and more. The latter will only lead to exhaustion. I had my career knowledge flipped upside-down.

I’ve grasped the importance of connecting with people. I can see more opportunities for my future. Since I found my calling and confidence, I can speak with employers on their level. Instead of treating myself as a “beginner,” I can become healthily competitive. I also remember that I’m not competing for monetary value or out of fear that coworkers might take my job. It’s more about self-value and accomplishing worthwhile goals. I can write and design to my heart’s content working for progressive companies with a modern vision. I now feel my skills growing more each day. I’m working with other creatives and striving to put out the best work instead of fast work.

At first, the change from what we know of the hiring process can seem overwhelming. It’s a brand new outlook on it, after all. You have to be willing to accept these changes. I started by following others’ examples. I saw how successful employees and business owners’ LinkedIn accounts looked. I saw how they stayed connected with their peers. I updated my profiles to not read as a “beginner” but as a competent writer and designer. Most importantly, I took these great examples and transformed them to fit my style.

The Big Reveal

I was making connections, attending meetings, and working to better myself in the process. The most important piece of advice I can give is to be direct. When I had a dream, I needed to be specific. I started my own business and decided who I wanted to work with, what I wanted to provide them, and how to make it happen. I knew that I needed to be an open book and always remain a student. Finally, I became confident instead of guilty. I understood the journey.

We're All In This Together!

The most important thing to remember is never to sell yourself short. We’re all in this Revolution together, and nothing can stop it from rolling on now. Just because you need a dead-end job now doesn’t mean you aren’t working towards your future goals. We can change how we expect jobs to be and give ourselves the confidence and compassion we deserve. There’s no time like the present to start building connections and exploring the Revolution! Check out more tips and tricks to stay proactive on our blog page.

Have a Super Day!

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Farrah Pendleton I Comedy Content Writer