I have been asked if not having a *teacher* would be a detriment when I got out into the work-force, and make working with a boss difficult. Most people who asked me this seemed to think that not having a teacher to practice taking direction from would mean I wouldn't be able to work for someone else. I always laughed this off - but I've been thinking about it more and more the last few weeks and thought it deserved a little bloggy attention.
Right now, I am working very hard to get my own private practice off the ground. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist intern, and I have two locations. One is in Los Alamitos, and one is in Arcadia. I just started at the one in Arcadia. I have two supervisors - in the therapy world, a supervisor is not a boss, but as someone who is willing to put their license on the line for you, meet with you weekly, and sign your paperwork. I also have two etsy sites, where I sell my jewelry. I have a job-with-a-boss as well, but at the moment I work from home.
It only recently occurred to me that all my life I have been striving to get to a place where I am my own boss. And I've always liked the bosses I've had. I am still friends with most of them, in fact. There was only one experience that I had a boss who I thought was sabotaging me. I was not the only person to have a really terrible experience with her, and I was lucky that several months later, she ended up leaving the company. So it's not that I can't get along with someone "in charge" of me - but it's just not how I want to work, long-term.
I like the idea of working for myself and have never been afraid of the fact that when you are your own boss, you don't get 8-5 hours and then leave the work at work. I always liked to throw myself into something, and would want the thing that made me money to be included in that. I want a flexible schedule, and to be able to use all the different tools I like to work with - get to design flyers, use social media, meet with people, and do art. Working for myself means getting to do more of what I'm good at, while finding resources to help with my weaknesses. I like this idea. I like being accountable to me, and frankly, I like being in charge.
Today, however, is a day where I am trying to take deep breaths and re-focus, because I am starting to get overwhelmed. I am realizing that getting my practice up and running also means there are no limits to what I can do - so there are NO LIMITS to what I am trying to do. So it's a lot. This morning, for example, I had all my paperwork scattered over the coffee table, my phone was ringing, and I have at least 15 tabs open on the computer. If I don't reach out and market myself, I won't get clients, and I won't succeed at having a private practice. I won't get a paycheck. It won't work. I suddenly got the other side of not having a boss. It's. Up. To. Me.
I love all the side-projects that come along with this business - I love making my website, making business cards, speaking at conferences - but it takes up a lot of time, and at the moment I don't really know which things are the most effective, so I am trying them all. I stay up late at night putting together blogs and email newsletters... it sort of reminds me of when I'd stay up all night collaging my journal or making a zine. Except I'm trying to make a living at this.
I am sure there is a connection between unschooling and my desires for my career and profession. I have a lot of drive and passion - fostered by my parents and the decision to unschool. I know how I work the best, again thanks to unschooling. I have high expectations for myself and a really supportive and responsive community to work within - thanks, unschoolers. I do not think that this connection is true for all unschoolers - because I know plenty who work for other companies very happily. I just know that I want a life full of projects that I get to decide how much energy I invest. Right now I am investing a lot of energy in a lot of things. Some of the things that give me the most energy have nothing to do with making money -- like the 30 Day Challenge Group I run on facebook, working with the board of HSC on their conference and newsletter, this blog!
So that's all for this post. No huge revelation or anything - just another glimpse into who I am, and some connections to unschooling.
Do you work for yourself? What are some things you've learned along the way? If you work for someone else, any stories to share on the topic?