As I write this I’m overlooking the ocean at Nauset Light Beach on Cape Cod. There was a storm last night so the waves are fiercely crashing against the sand and the wind is relentlessly steady. Surfers have already come and gone to avoid the crowds and tourists are slowly cycling in and out.
I recently finished Ian Sanders’ Juggle!: Rethink work, reclaim your life. The book provides an adaptable guideline for people who love working on multiple projects simultaneously (not necessarily jobs in the traditional sense, but passions). Sanders calls these people Jugglers and gives examples including Kevin Roberts (CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi) and Roxanne Darling (speaker, video blogger, new media advisor).
I’ve been out of college for fourteen months, which is enough time to recognize the routines I’ve developed post-school. The thought of being as flexible and varied in my interests as I was while in school is difficult to comprehend (and remember that I’ve only been out of school for a year). Even as workforce trends shift to more short-term or contract-based positions, it’s still easy to develop tunnel-vision.
In the time I spent serving in AmeriCorps (12 months), I would have done the following at school:
- participated in ten classes ranging from dance history to psychoanalysis for children
- had three days each week (Friday-Sunday) to pursue independent projects
- tapped into a huge network of enthusiastically passionate students, professors, and staff
For me, pursuing challenging and collaborative projects outside of academia needed to be more intentional once I left school.
Writing by the ocean. A weekly yoga class. Whatever your inspiration, pursuing projects outside of a 40-hour workweek job description can keep you grounded. What Juggle made me realize is that there are ways to cross between interests and develop your skills, even if they seem to be unrelated. For example, I love research, writing, and food, so blogging is a great way to connect these interests and connect with others. From this blog, which led to other marketing roles: now I could be a Social Media Manager.
What are your passions and how are you following them? How would you like to follow them?