On Not Getting a Job

On Not Getting a Job

Art by Kelly Cree

Three weeks ago, I emailed Penelope Trunk. I begged her to give me advice on how to make money on my work: my meditations, Tuesday Tips, worksheets, my lifestream.

She kindly, graciously, wrote back with this:

There is no money in this. You have to get a job. It's like writing a novel. People respect that as work, but it doesn't pay bills. Just because you have a talent for doing something doesn't mean you need to get paid for it. It's like sex. I love your hair. It makes me think you're great in bed. But I bet you don't get paid for it. It's okay to be good at something you don't get paid for. Mostly, people get paid to do stuff because it's not that fun so it wouldn't get done if people didn't pay for it. Sex is fun. Making these videos is fun. Go figure out what you are good at that people are paying for.

Solid advice, but I have made no move to get a job. It turns out, I'd rather be homeless than work for someone else. If I don't at least try to do the work I feel I came to this reality to do, then I'm dead.

Today, I read an incredible Gary Vayanerchuck quote:

If you go and become a lawyer or go to school and do all the things that everybody wants you to do, and don't do the thing you really love, the real question isn't what's going to happen when you're 23, 27, 31, 36. The question really becomes what's going to happen when you're 70 years old and you look back at your life and you're like, Why didn't I try? There's going to be a regret factor that I think a lot times a guidance counselor or parent or teacher tend not to think about... They're worried about your next ten years. I'm worried about your last ten years.

And then here's James Altucher on Why People Hate Their Jobs:

Jobs are modern-day slavery. We are paid just enough to live and not more. You are punished if you ask for more. Then you take the magic pill and the tears of dirt wipe away ... The government gets up to 50% of your paycheck and then 10-20% of  that goes to kill people on other parts of the planet, including our own children.

I'm doing the work I came here to do, no matter the cost. I intend to do more for others. I intend to give all I have to give. I intend to help other people get what they want. I'm on the right path, and part of an enormous paradigm shift. It's all working out. We are being freed by the light!

Jessica Mullen
Living the magick life.
  • kiriko

    You’ve probably read the “find the intersection of your skills + work people will pay you to do” advice a lot– I’m wondering why you don’t sell your web/graphic design skills? Seeing as the internet is a representation of the leading edge of thought, it seems like designing for conscious entrepreneurs and businesses and whatnot would be right up your alley. Or are you more interested in helping people become happy? Maybe you could start hosting weekly donation-based meditation/subjective reality/LOA workshops.

    I do freelance transcription for grad students outside of my full-time work as an Human Resources person, and while I wouldn’t describe either of these gigs as my passion, they fulfill enough of my desires (mentally stimulating, helpful, non-violent, and lucrative) that I am willing to delay fulfilling my desire for more free time. I used to think that I had to fulfill ALL of these desires at once. (I’ve long ago dropped the illusion that jobs require me to sacrifice my freedom– I also used to struggle with the “I don’t want to work for someone else” thought until I realized that even as an “employee,” I still am the one making the choice to go to work every day.) I mean, I totally get where you’re coming from. Working toward someone else’s objectives is obviously not ideal. But maybe consider if you’re ignoring the path of leas resistance? I say this just because I did so myself for a long time.

    Maybe it would be helpful to figure out what specific desires the concept of being “self-employed” is made up of for you, and identify which of those desires are most important for you to fulfill *right now*. Danielle Laporte really inspired me to start thinking in these terms. Try asking yourself: at this moment, do you care more about having all of your time to yourself, or do you care more about financial abundance? Either answer provides a good outcome, if you’re willing to take the risk of dropping one of your lesser priorities temporarily.

    Does this resonate with you at all?

  • The Dame Intl

    I’m in the same place. I refuse to work for someone else, I did it, it’s soul destroying and I can’t just “buck up” like everyone else. I feel like there is no point to life if you’re not doing what you love. I am still on the quest to find what it is I love and a way to afford to live at the same time.

    At 34, having tried hundreds of things, I am still looking, but I know that I wither and die when I don’t live an outdoors life in nature surrounded by animals. I also know that I am passionate about educating people on how food is medicine and what we eat today and believing in Doctors is making us very sick.

    I’ve just signed up to a health coach course I don’t have the money for on the faith that the money will come. In a year’s time, I will be a certified health coach and be able to take on clients. Lifestyle blogging will never pay my way unless I can love it enough to get hired to do it and I just don’t have the money to go and do stuff to write about in the hopes someone will eventually pay me to do stuff to write about. I am also aching to live an outdoors life and work with animals so I am looking into becoming an Equine Assisted Therapy practitioner since I love horses and helping people. Eventually I want to do all of this in Australia. Well not eventually, yesterday actually, but I am adamant that I will emigrate to Australia and live my life on a guest farm with animals, a good partner and helping others.

    Damn the man!

  • jessica mullen

    Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions. Truth be told, I am open to any and all client work or employment, but I am not seeking it out because I am focusing my energy on my own business. I have done freelance web and graphic design for about 10 years, and I’ve worked various jobs for other people (like as a graduate research assistant, teaching at university, working as a graphic design intern at Under Consideration). I do really enjoy helping other people make websites, and my main interest with that is helping people get started and teaching them to maintain/design their own sites. Teaching them how to fish if you will.

    I LOVE teaching and am allowing more opportunities my way… I’m just exploring every possible route of self-employment before I give my time to executing another person’s ideas again. I know what my work is, and I will crash and burn and fail before I give up.

    My work is to enjoy my life and allow abundance to flow through me. My work is to be light and uplift myself. My true work is to love myself.

    So many people have given me ideas for ways to make money doing my own work – like Threadless, Cafe Press, meditation infused talismans.

    Your reply did help me see that my ultimate desire is to be free, to have my life be mine alone, to not have to be on anyone else’s schedule.

    I love the idea of doing weekly donation-based meditations. I haven’t really done one in person with people and I’m a little scared to, which means that’s a direction I should pursue!

    Thanks for helping me process all this. Your reply is invaluable!!! xoxo

    Ms. Dame,
    Thank you so much for your vote of solidarity! I know that you are carving out your unique solution and it seems life has gotten better and better for you. The best advice I have heard lately is to wait, wait, wait until action is pulled through me. The universe knows what you want, and all you have to do is be still (and quiet your mind) until inspiration strikes, which will take you towards your dream.

    I am attempting to do that myself right now :]


    Thank you both so much!

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