Hedging against a traditional career

Daily Podcasts: Creators vs. Listeners

Why should I learn in public?

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I have recently realised that a lot of my actions over the past year can be described as, in one way or another, a hedge against having to have a traditional career. The will and desire to show my work as Austin Kleon would put it.

“Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.” –– Austin Kleon

The more consistently I can share my work, the better I can increase my surface area for serendipity. For every person the comes across something I put online, there is an infinitesimal chance that they may resonate with it and reach out and send a message. That message may be just a nice thing, but it could also develop into a professional or even personal relationship. In any case, the barriers for this happening are exposure and time. Given unlimited time, exposure will naturally occur so long as the work is being shared consistently. Taking into the account the law of large numbers, there will be always a handful of people that reach out for this serendipity to be able to take place.

Something like this follows the principle of compound interest, the sooner you start and the more consistently one shows your work, the greater the chance for serendipity –– in whatever form that may take.

I had been telling myself that this year or so off of work has been me exercising my optionality. I did not have a compelling reason to go straight into work knowing that the difference a year makes in my professional life is marginal, whereas the impact on my personal life would result be significant. If I have learnt anything, it is that this theory of mine has proven true. But now as I find myself in a lifestyle that I have grown to cherish and feel protective over. This is why now I am in the mode of maximising my serendipity with the hope that I future-proof myself out of needing to have a traditional career.

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