I am experiencing a bothersome career dilemma.

First, let me preface this with a little background information: I am a 22-year-old history graduate with a great passion for writing, journalism and the creative arts. I found employment as a web content editor at a moderately sized utilities company soon after my final term at university, but I quickly grew very bored, and as such handed in my notice after six months with the intent of finding a challenge and somehow fulfilling my dreams.

Now, with one week to go before I am booted out for good, I am faced with a problem: potentially, accept a new job as a copywriter at an ad agency (safe, pays well enough, good central location in the city, but ultimately not for me); or bite the bullet, sally forth, and freelance as a writer/voiceover (what I'd really like to do), risking job security and a stable income, but living contentedly and "on track".

Security or fulfilment.

Before I resigned from my current position, I went back and forth to parents, family and friends for advice, and the camp was fairly evenly divided: "don't take the risk" vs "if you don't like it, don't do it". Now that I've committed to the latter (I'm prepared to accept the consequences) I'm wondering if I might be too headstrong, too young and too inexperienced to continue on my current charge down the path of uncertainty.

Still, having read so many AoM posts and the biographies of great men, the most successful mentalities seem to hinge on the notions of carpe diem/he who dares, wins.

Are there any chaps here who perhaps experienced a similar problem in their life, or are experiencing such a problem, and are willing to share their working wisdom with me? I'd be very much obliged.

Yours in limbo,


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Successful men do both.  Take the real job ... and do the freelance thing on-the-side until you make enough to do it full-time.  You have to earn the right to quit by proving that this freelance thing will work.  Don't just take a flying leap and hope you'll land somewhere.

Also, life has a way of sneaking up on you.  You don't want to end-up with a wife and kids still trying to find a way to drum-up a living.



I have taken the "safe job" route and while I'll envy you if you don't I won't envy ALL of what you will go through.

Jack Bauer makes an excellent suggestion.  You are young, energetic, and passionate so do both. 


Don't take the Western, Disney approach to work (ie "follow your passion!" "if you don't like it, quit!"). You can be pragmatic and idealistic about things at the same time. Having gone through the same thing myself, the stuff you enjoy doing outside of work will energise you more for the job that pays the bills anyway.

I would go with safe and fulfilling.  Take the safe job and do the fulfilling on the side. If what you do for fulfillment takes off great.  Don't jump off the cliff with an untested flying device as it where.

Most businesses FAIL.  Most project FAIL.  Failure is not bad it how we learn.  But set up your attempts in a way that they Fail to Safe.  Take the safe job and do your blogging free lance writing etc on the side until you get what you need to make it work.


Why are money and stability important to you?

Some people have personalities that really value routine and stability. [They're unlikely to ever be happy as freelance journalists.] Some people are tinkerers or have wanderlust or otherwise value changes of scene, surprises, and new environments. If journalism and creative arts are your passion, then you're probably the latter.

But you're also on AoM, which values bourgeois notions of responsibility and steady income. Is that lifestyle what YOU want? Does it represent what YOU value?

There's no right or wrong answers here. If you get yourself in a lifestyle that doesn't fit your personality, you'll be unhappy either way. You don't have a family to support. If you're looking for freelance work, you won't be a "burden" to your parents for long. [And if you help around the house, you're probably not a burden at all.] IMO, young and headstrong is precisely the time to do the freelance thing.


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