You Won’t Always Be the CEO

April 21, 2017

Since the industrial revolution until fairly recently the workplace has done things a certain way. The hierarchy and structure of the 9 to 5 hasn’t changed drastically, and then all of a sudden, in the age of the Internet, we’re caught up in a storm of people becoming freelancers and working remotely.

But where the obvious restrictions of a life working for The Man has fallen away, have we in turn trapped ourselves behind a wall of expectations that comes with the idea of Being Your Own Boss?

In a world of #GirlBosses (a term I hate), it’s almost becoming a bit strange to not quit your day job and follow your dreams. I’ve definitely been on the end of many a tweet or Facebook status, encouraging a friend to take a risk and fly free, despite keeping my own feet planted firmly on the ground. Do I want to see them succeed, thus allowing me to believe my own wild dreams could come true? Or do I want them to fail; to justify my own resistance to strike out on my own and brave the world of self-employment?

Like many people, I have lofty goals. I’ll share it with you now: my dream is to own a boutique marketing agency working with independent brands. And I have many of the tools available to me to make this a reality. I have a post-secondary education in New Media. I have over 6 years experience working professionally in design. And I have a genuine passion for design, particularly things that involve a lot of texture and detail.

But I’m not done learning yet. And I’m not ready to throw myself into the deep end. And that’s okay.

People are no longer making long term goals.

People are no longer taking baby steps.

You wouldn’t see a first-year surgical intern decide to go freelance and there are excellent reasons for that.

You won’t always be the CEO. Sometimes you have to take your time, do your dues to the industry, and learn in a safely salaried arena. It doesn’t mean you won’t be your own boss; it just means you won’t necessarily be your own boss right now.

Women in their 20s and 30s have enough pressure put on them by society without adding 24/7 work to the equation. Stay in your own lane – it won’t necessarily be the fast lane, but it’s your lane.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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  • *claps for this post*

    YES. Too many people seem really casual about it as well? I don’t know if that’s privilege or something, but it seems odd to me. This was a fantastic post 🙂 x

  • Em

    Love this post. I think there is so much pressure now for everyone to be doing everything. I worked from the age of 18, so ten years of working for ‘the man’ and I found that it didn’t get me anywhere. Even though I was constantly praised for being the best employee? I went back to school to get a degree in what I love, and I’ve been freelancing along side it for the past 2 years. I had the realisation at one of my previous jobs that I was putting in so much effort for an ok salary, but never getting anywhere? I’m not saying I wanted a management position, but when you’re doing the work and not getting the benefits from it, why bother? I decided I wanted to work for ME, to improve my life. Being your own boss is extremely hard, but also worth it. And not something that should be taken lightly just because it’s cool to be the next Sophia Amoruso (I always spell her last name wrong, so apologies Sophia if I have – oops).

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting the security of a 9-5, when I finish this year, I will freelance. But I will also get a job to make sure I’m stable.

    P.S thanks for your advice on my most recent post 🙂

    Em x

  • A great post! I sometimes feel you’re basically a failure if you don’t end up being your own boss, as if that’s now the norm. I’ve a 9to5 job that doesn’t really fullfill me and that I don’t always enjoy, but I do like the work I do. To compensate for the lack of creativity I started my own blog and what I can’t learn at work, I try to learn blogging.

    We all need to figure out what works for us and for me the security of having a guaranteed income beats being my own boss and never knowing where this month’s mortgage money will come from. I can continue to work hard and hope that one day I’ll be making £1k per sponsored post, but till then I’ll keep setting my alarm clock.

    Maya |

  • This is a great post! I almost feel like there is some kind of pressure to be my own boss, it’s so strange. I’m still figuring out what the hell I’m doing haha.

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s really comforting to read someone pointing out the pressure of ‘being your own boss’ – especially because, from the eyes of many, that’s what I did a few months ago. This whole #GirlBoss culture has glamourised the very real risks that you take going out there on your own. I like to think that I was educated enough on the risks when I made the jump, but I know a part of it was naivety.

    I don’t regret a thing – for the record. I’m happier and living a life more suited to me. But when people speak to me about being their own boss to be ‘free from the man’, I fear that it’s not the right reason – you’re never free from the man. You still have people to answer to. I have more bosses than I’ve ever had before – customers, bank managers, clients, agencies.

    And you’re right about the long term goals. Whenever I share my 3, 5 and 10 year plan with someone, they seem far too surprised that I’m not “free spirited like the other new bosses”.

    Thanks again, Aisling. And I look forward to the day that I see your “I’m running my own boutique marketing agency” status, whenever that may be. I know you’ll be awesome.

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