Daydreaming of Ladders

I’ve been thinking a bit about what it must be like not being freelance… and not in the usual way.

Usually I thank my lucky stars that I only have myself to answer to, that I’m totally responsible for my own successes (and failures!) and that every day I get to do something I love, the way I want to do it. All my thoughts of actual employed work have always been negative – things like being told when to arrive, when to leave, when to eat. The whole notion of that seems insane to me – especially in a creative context. I don’t just sit down and be creative. Sometimes I’m far better suited to coding websites than illustrating for example, and vice versa – so the concept of being told when I have to be in the mind frame to do one or the other just doesn’t make any sense.

Anyway – I’m getting off topic, and there’s a long long list of things I could ream off if I decided to go down that path.

But recently the idea of having a ladder has been appealing to me. I mean a direction that’s very clear and straight forward – a path to success that you just have to follow. When you work for a company, there is always a boss or a higher position. Another rung up on the ladder that you can be aiming for.

I quite like the idea of that.

Not having to worry about anything but excelling at your particular job until you’re able to move up to that next step.

I was chatting with a freelance producer friend of mine the other day and she agreed that sometimes it just feels like we’re bumbling about in the dark, failing until we find something that works and we’re able to earn that little bit more.

Don’t get me wrong – I find being the captain of my own ship to be incredibly satisfying, but every achievement and advancement I make seems to be very incremental. There’s no big leap forward. No levelling up. Perhaps I’m just being greedy and want the kind of satisfaction that is one of the few freelancing fails to offer. Perhaps it’s just a fleeting case of ‘the grass is greener’.

Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Mad Men.

It’s just – it’d be nice one day to get called up to the 25th floor to see Mr Sterling & Cooper and be told that the corner office is now mine “congratulations”.

Then there would probably be whiskey and sexism.


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