Wednesday, November 17, 2021

the great resignation, being pushed, and becoming superheroes

There seems to a growing awareness of a movement that's come to be known as "the great resignation" - Covid and the pandemic have forced people to re-examine of what they were doing almost automatically in their lives, and many are finding that they're unhappy with what's become their lot, and are spurring themselves to change that. Mainly by quitting the jobs that currently leave them unfulfilled to pursue hopes and dreams that will better feed their souls.

And it got me thinking about our origin stories as freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Usually, when people share them, they seem to echo the current 'great resignation' - people "felt the fear, but did it anyway" and heroically quit their jobs to pursue their dream. (and research studies like this one from theRSA re-enforce this)

But, as usual, my origin story isn't in keeping with this typical narrative. (TL:DR = relocated my family to the other end of the country in a pre iphone age to find said job didn't exist, and the first work I could find to allow my family to remain housed and fed meant I was forced to go freelance).

And it's made me wonder about if we should all try and be a little more honest about where we've come from (especially if it's not from what seems to be the usual position of having savings, a partner still salaried, and clients already confirmed, before jumping off an otherwise dependable monthly payroll). The point of which would be to better challenge stereotypes and misconception, and encourage others who might otherwise think that they haven't 'got what it takes', and subsequently live a live of regret and missed opportunity for themselves and those around them.

And the actual research out there also seems to encourage this: theRSA's "salvation in a startup" found that there's actually a far wider range of motivations in play for those of  us who find ourselves self-employed than might be otherwise first imagined:

Might it also also make us more like the superheroes we always wanted to be when we were kids (although some might say that if you're part of the Freelance Heroes community, you're half-way there already!) - because we remember and know who the likes of Spiderman and Batman are in large part because we know what their origin stories are...?