Well, those of you who know me personally or who have followed my blog religiously (ahem :p) would know about the changes in my career journey - that end of last October, I left a newspaper company that I worked with for 12 years, and tested out the life of a freelance journalist/writer. At one point, I was looking forward to rejoin the company though a different paper but it didn't work out.. So from after CNY till now, I have been a full-time freelance journalist..
Just a month or two back, I was beginning to feel that I was earning so much less while I could be getting so much more if I'm employed in a publication company. Not like I didn't already know that, but I was willing to give freelancing a try.. after all, at the back of my mind, I was telling myself that this freelance furore will be a temporary thing.. maybe a year the most. Cos the pragmatic side of me was telling me that I should be earning as least as much as, or if not more, than before!
On the other hand, I must say that I have been really enjoying my life ever since I quit my job. The time is all mine to work it - I relish the freedom, the flexibility of being able to be my own boss, to do things I enjoy doing and pace my own time. But then, it came to a stage that I was wondering whether this is `healthy'? that can I live such a ideal work patterns? I have not been idle, just that the work loads can be sporadic.
Sometime in June, I mentioned in a post that I would probably be looking out for full-time job again. And I did so, though I was quite choosy as well. But I (thought I) knew where I wanted to work so I only applied to that place, and the editor responded and asked me for an interview! I was happy! And was already hopeful that soon I could be starting work again quite soon.. maybe if things go well - September (as this month I have some planned travelling already)
Alas, the interview date was kept being postponed till it seemed indefinite, the reason given was that the human resource people were busy interviewing other candidates (but not my post). So till date, more than a month since the ed first got back to me, I still don't know when that elusive interview will be...
Ok, now I come to the crunch of this post. A crucial decision has been made, this time, it was an revelation of sort from the One above. Early this year, I have rededicated my life to the Lord and as I see how He has continued to lead me in my path and bless me, the more I wanted to live a life that's pleasing for Him. Yes, I have achieved a bit.. (like cutting off some bad habit/ sinful attitudes) but most importantly I told God I want to submit to His will in whatever I do. This thinking I'm sharing may sound alien to non-Christians but I need to share this because it is directly link to the decision on my career..
Two days ago at gym, when I was enjoying my solitude while working out, God spoke to me. Maybe it was because my friend and I had been praying about my job situation.. Then suddenly the thoughts just flashed clearly in mind. I felt God was asking me: `what is the motivation for me to want to go back to full-time employment' and my honest answer was simple: `money and job security'. And really that's just about it.
While it's nothing wrong to hope for better pay and job security, in my case, I know I've been self-centred and `rebellious'. Ever since I started freelancing and God paving the way for more works, He is also teaching me two things: to be disciplined in my time management; and secondly, be more prudent in my spending. These two areas are my weaknesses and I recognise that He wanted to prune me as I work as a freelancer.
God also reminded me that I'm fortunate enough to not have any financial commitment - I'm single, live with parents, have no installments or bills to pay except for my two dogs. It's not the case that I really need a higher paid job, it is something I want and a lifestyle I want to covet. But God reminds me this: `you can't serve two master'. Also, if I have prayed and committed myself to Him, I should be obedient to His direction in my life.
I know God was speaking (not literally but..) to me on that afternoon. I spent sometime alone to pray and made up my mind. I felt a sense of peace and joy. Quite excited that I called and shared with my prayer buddy.
And then it kinda struck me, it was a bit unusual that the interview had never materialised yet, although the section desperately needs a writer! Could it be the Higher Power at work?
The thing is, I have been enjoying doing freelance writing so far, and I could see God has opened more doors with a few new jobs coming in.. including writing for a travel mag! :) In fact, many magazines are seeking contributors to write articles and cut down on their staff.. (cost cutting) so I can see I would have more jobs if I am willing to work harder!
Not that full-time employment is no good, but for one who has done both, I know what each side is like. I know the job I applied for is hectic, has long hours and also requires overtime works! And off hand I can already list many benefits if I remain a freelancer:
- Less stress - thus lead to better mental health
- More time to serve God - in and outside church
- More time to spend with family
- More time to spend with two Js ;)
- More time to exercise
- Avoid rush hour traffic jam
- etc.. etc.. :p
So what if I'm getting a pay cut. Money is not the only motivation in life.... Most importantly, I know He knows best what is best for me!
update (Mon 1:45pm)
Just chatted with a friend who is an ex-journalist from the paper that I applied to and she said she was told that they have taken in a new journalist for that section! Oh well..i want to give the ed the benefit of the doubt.. but this is quite candid ain't it? in view of the turnaround decision I made. It just goes to show that He is in control. Doors would be opened, doors would be closed as He deems fit. Yes, I'm still at peace and even more :)