What if your job didn’t exist?
I was 25 years old, struggling, and frightened.
I was trying to make a living as a self employed writer, primarily by doing résumé and cover letter editing for people who were unemployed and job hunting.
I was pretty good at it, too. My tweaks actually helped people to get jobs. Cool.
Just one problem: I didn’t enjoy it. But I didn’t know what else I could do to make money quickly and consistently. I felt trapped.
I got on the phone with a woman that I admire deeply. She’s brilliant, rebellious, an unconventional thinker, and I figured she might be able to help me figure out my next career move.
I laid out the problem. I waited.
I expected her to say something like, “Maybe you’re not attracting the right types of clients? How could you fix that?” or “Is there some way you could tweak your process so that doing résumé editing is more fun for you?” or something like that.
She did not say that.
Instead, she said:
“Imagine that nobody needs a résumé. Every single person in the world is just fine. Their résumés are fantastic. Nobody needs you to write or edit résumés anymore. Nobody needs you to do that. You’re free. As of today, your job no longer exists. Now… what would you like to do?”
I found myself speechless, which is not a common scenario for me.
It was a mind-bending question.
I started blurting out ideas and — over the course of our conversation — I began to see how I could re-direct my career, package my skills differently, start working on writing projects that felt more meaty and interesting, and so on.
Shortly after that conversation I updated my website, removed “résumés” from my list of services, and I never did one again. For me? Best choice ever.
Now — many years later — I am facing a similar crossroads. Different this time, but similar.
I enjoy my current work — ghostwriting, copywriting and teaching writing courses — very much. I love my clients. My students rule. But I am sensing that there’s something… else. Something “new” or “more” that I could be doing. Some “other” contribution that I could be making to the world. It might not even involve “writing” at all. But what is it?
So I am playing with that same question again:
“What if your job didn’t exist?”
Then what? Then who would you become? What’s next?
How about you?
If you feel restless or dissatisfied with your current career, but you don’t really know what else you could (or should) do, this could be an intriguing thought process for you.
What if, as of this moment, you were… “free”…?
Nobody needs you to do accounting, or fitness training, or come up with marketing strategies, or childcare, or therapy, or whatever “job” you are currently paid to do. Everyone’s fine. You’re off the hook. Your job no longer exists.
Feel that freedom. Taste the wide open, dizzying, unexpected expanse. You’re free.