It seems that everyone at one point in their life has done something simply because that is what they are supposed to do. The natural tendency is to think life progression goes something like this: graduate from high school, go to University, get a job, find a partner, get married, buy a house, get a dog, have a baby…then have another baby. This is what seems to be expected, but why?
For so long in our society success was defined by the amount of money someone made. You were seen as successful if you had a high wage, a fancy car, two kids, and a big house with a white picket fence. But there was seemingly very little value attributed to happiness, maybe because in a capitalist driven society you can’t buy things with happiness. Or, maybe because people assumed more money = more happiness. But as I look around I notice more and more people are starting to create their own way to work. There are more freelancers and more people pursuing their passions not just pursuing profit and pensions. This is a change.
If we look at the life events in that list above I have done some of them, albeit out of order, but I did. And it just didn’t work. Something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t conform. I relished opportunities to experience the outdoors during a weekday and work late at night because I was more effective (and happier); but this was not normal, it didn’t align with convention.
Looking at trends and statistics it seems that I am not the only one to embrace a different way to build a life and career. I recently read that 40% of the Millennial workforce are ‘freelancers’, or are bucking the conventional 9-5 job to pursue their passions. This is in line with a business strategy articulated by the founder of Whole Foods based on pursuing passion as a means to produce profit. The idea being if you are doing what you love, the money will follow. This seems to be a shifting perspective that is gaining traction: focusing on passion over profit - and I like it.
All of this begs the question: are we at a point in time where the ‘unconventional’ is becoming the conventional?