No Go For The Status Quo

Posted: January 12th, 2011

Image by Vipez (Flickr)

Image by Vipez (Flickr)

I was a bit disturbed this week after viewing some news that really hit close to home. As you may have already heard, a shooting occurred in Tucson, Arizona where six people were killed, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, and a U.S. congresswoman shot in the head.

Tucson is where I grew up and graduated college, not to mention, I regularly frequented the Safeway store where the shooting occurred.

What further disturbed me was that I found out in the headlines… all the way out in Spain.

Now, I have a general dislike of the media (though, yes, I do need some news sources once in a while) and couldn’t help but attribute the shooting as a product of the media and some deranged young man whose switch suddenly flipped. I could go on and on about that but that’s not what this post is about.

I’ve thought a lot about it in the last few days but my real beef with the media is its extreme power in shaping our actions without us knowing whether we are really hearing the truth or some crap to get our attention. This especially hold true when it comes to our employment. In case you haven’t you heard:

“Job prospects remain grim for 2011″ – Chicago Tribune

“Unemployment rises to 9.8%” – Miami Herald

“Evergreen Solar to cut 800 jobs as it tries to compete with China” – Boston Globe

And my favorite…

“A Modest Proposal to Stimulate Employment and Fight Terrorism” – NYT

I’d be lying if I said I never always trusted the media because, at one point in my life, I’d get my daily dose of CNN “world” news and the then the local news at 10 PM. I still remember that “It’s ten o’ clock. Do you know where your children are?” in that eery voice as it comes on.

But these were the days when I believed it was hard to find a good job and maybe I should consider further education to expand my degree. If I remember correctly, around the begining of the last decade, the job market was requiring skills beyond a bachelor’s degree.

In other words, I followed the status quo right to the tee.

As I began my freelance career, it took a few years to realize not to believe everything I hear in the news, if anything at all. In fact, I can sum up all the news for you in two sentences. If the economy is going south, there’s no jobs. If it’s in a boom, it’s still hard to find a job in a crowded job market.

Complete bullshit.

I can sum up the REAL news you need to know in two sentences. If there was no work  available, there would be NO economy. There is an economy and, in fact, economies all over the world so work must be available.

Of course, it isn’t to say that work is that easy to get. It takes a lot of work and, pardon the expression, some balls to get the work you desire but it’s there for the taking.

Now it’s time to get to it… or sit back and wait for the news to come back on again.

That Damn Excuse We Call Summer

Posted: June 7th, 2010

Photo by Philipyk (Flickr)

Photo by Philipyk (Flickr)

Happens every year. I’ve been freelancing for eight years so you would think I could see this coming but every time it’s the same.

Beautiful day out, people walking around. Ice cream cones in hand.

Friends calling from nowhere. “Hey, let’s get a quick beer” at 2:00 in the afternoon (No that wasn’t today).

I practically know every trick in the book to motivate myself to getting back to work. Yet it gets me every time around.

Summertime. You can just hear that Fresh Prince song in your head now, can’t you?

There’s plenty of work to be done, a blog post to be written, emails to answer, tweets to send. Yet all I can think about is heading down to the beach and taking in that comfy 73º F (23 C) heat outside.

You know what? I’ll take the day off and I don’t even need an excuse.

Freelancing doesn’t equal job. Sure, there will always be work to be done and a good freelancer is a hard worker. Don’t take for granted, however, the advantages of time it offers you. Those moments you have to escape off and call a ditch-day are never regretted (in my experience anyway).

If you have to pull a Sunday/Monday all-nighter to get in that project on time (like I will), well, small price to pay. Fun summertime memories last a while though.

Take my lead but just don’t make it a frequent habit. THAT is bad.

Think, Laugh and Cry

Posted: April 5th, 2010

In the time leading up to the national championship basketball game later on this evening, I happened to run into a speech by the late Jim Valvano, coach of the 1983 champion North Carolina State University, on YouTube.

To give a little primer, here was a man who was ravaged by cancer, needed assistance to the podium and gave a mind-boggling energetic speech on what is really important in life. Two months after giving the speech he passed away.

Even for the non-basketball fan, this is a must watch.

Everything about your life and freelance career will be properly put into perspective.

Our freelance work can often bog us down but keeping your head on the bigger picture, your life, dreams and goals, will help make it a more satisfying and prosperous one.