Monday, June 15, 2009

Thinking out loud.

Lately I've been think a lot about the next step (career wise) in my life is. I went to college, earned a degree in graphic design and advertising, and had every intention to have a pretty cool job using the skills I obtained in 4 years of school. I like to write. I like to take photographs. I like to illustrate, although I am very hard on myself and critical of my own work. 

For the last several years I've been working at an architect firm doing everything from ad design for publications, promotional material design, copywriting, basically everything except dealing with the actual architecture itself. Before I went on maternity leave, things had really slowed down as we were hardly immune to the cruddy economy. Several were laid off, and the rest (including myself) were put on a reduced work schedule. Since having Cameron, I'm only working on an as-needed basis, doing an new ad every 6 weeks or so. I am grateful for the job, and have built a nice professional portfolio there, but it no longer fuels my creative desire. 

Not a day passes that I don't think about what I'm supposed to be doing. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm the type of person who thinks I should be part of a dual income. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I feel like being "just" a mom isn't enough. My husband works so hard, I feel like I'm not doing my part, you know? I know that being a stay at home mom is hard work- some of the hardest work I've ever done, and I'm absolutely exhausted by about 4 pm every single day. But I still feel like there is something else I should be doing. What that "something else" is, I'm not sure.

This is where I struggle- trying to figure out what I should be doing. I know that I don't want to work 50 hours a week at a grueling workplace. I've thought about illustrating and writing children's books. I've thought about freelance designing (I have done this from time to time). As much as I like photography, I don't see it developing into anything other than a wonderful hobby. I've thought about setting up a online shop where I could do custom invites, stationary, and other designed goodies. And these are just a few ideas I've been tossing around. =) 

I rarely never blog about things that really eat me, so if you made it to the end of this long winded post, thank you! I'm not even sure I should post it. I hope that by writing it all out I can better organize my thought process? At least that's what I'm telling myself. =) And if anyone has struggled with what their supposed to be doing, life's purpose, provide me some insight! 


Samantha said...

I could sure use your skills right about now. I have a degree in interior design & work for an architecture/design firm that is currently re-branding and creating new marketing. We have a marketing dept, but a lot of the issues are being put to committees. I am on the graphics committee and somehow just today got made chair of the committee. We are designing the boards/templates for presentations, marketing brochures, report covers, etc.

If you have any tips/hints/ideas I would LOVE to hear them!

I'm sure that as you try different things, you will find something that will be stimulating for you! I will be praying that something stands out and works out for you!

Erin said...

I'm actually right there with you, except for the mom part (and don't think for a moment that being "just a mom" is a bad thing!!) I'm struggling to find that "next step" as well. I'm almost a turning point in my career and struggle with the decision to go back to school for a masters, change paths compeltely, or start my own business doing...a lot of different things. I know it will work out for you, too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie-
I read your blog time to time, I stubbled across it via The Nest. I feel like I totally relate to you. I too have a degree in graphic design. Although I do a little of it where I work now I know I'm not at my dream job an think daily what is it I want to do that I can see myself doing for the next 20-30 years and have flexability for a family.
I think I drive my husband nuts because everyday I want to be something new. An interior designer, a photographer etc. I always have good intentions to start something but I quickly lose steam thinking who would pay money for something I can do etc.
Just wanted to let you know I hear you and your not alone.

D. Ramblings said...

I love your idea for a website where you design invitations and such. I think you'll be awesome at whatever you do :)
As someone who is currently laid off and trying to figure out what my next step is, I can definitely relate with what you said!

Meredith said...

Actually, I LOVE that you blog about this stuff, because it's a real issue that moms have to deal with after they've given birth.

I have no advice, but I'm excited to see what direction you head in!

Molly said...

Hey, this is my favorite kind of post! These are the type of posts that connect us in the blog world. Teaches us a little bit about you. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying, "I just don't know right now." You'll figure it out sooner or later.

Molly Jane said...

I have no insight. And I can't fully relate since I don't have a Mini Molly running around. But I can relate to the stifled creativity. I've been having a few off weeks, and it really freaks me out! Every job has its down-sides, but I feel like having creativity as your livelihood is a heck of a lot of pressure. It's not like you just lose your book smarts or developed skills in other jobs out of nowhere. Crap!

mrs.leah.maria said...

Hah, obviously no insight here!

I think you've definitely got what it takes to pursue any of your design dreams. I loved your last invite!


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