There's a job available, in a town I love, that looks to be tailor-made to my experiences in the crafty-business world. I very seriously thought about applying, (even though it'd be a pay cut from what I make now, doing what I love!) so much that I wrote a friend asking for her perspective. Just writing out all the reasons I was even thinking about going back into office life led me to a big revelation. I don't want this job, I don't need any office job.
But what I do miss about job-getting and -having is the validation that comes from being hired. When you work for yourself, there's no on in “authority” to tell you if you're doing the right, wrong, or weird thing. There's no one to choose you, to pick you out of a crowd and tell you are qualified and that all your experience is worth $X.
This leaves the authority in our hands, which can be unsatisfyingly complex. There has yet to be one big moment in my business when I realize that I am right, that I am worthy, that all of my experience has led to this one definition of my role in the world. There have been lots of small moments (signing clients, the book contract, every quarter when the Starship fills up)…but nothing as obvious and life-changing as the just-right job offer can be.
I know I'm not alone in this because earlier today I emailed with a crafter who didn't get picked as a finalist in a design contest she entered. Contests are another way we ask the outside world, and someone with authority to pick us, to tell the world that our work is worthy. Other authorities we hope to get chosen by: retailers, trade shows, judges, galleries, publishers.
Are you waiting to get picked? Are you hoping for the validation of someone in authority?
Why? What will that bring you, in reality? More work, more writing, more making?