The first time I experienced unlimited freedom was during my half a year travelling after finishing high school. You can do whatever you like, everything is possible and all is going to be all right. My years at University were quite similar. I combined social psychology with criminal law and graduated both Masters with good results. It taught me that doing what you like is not only fun, but can also be very productive. After finishing my studies, an academic career was the next logical step. However, I missed further inspiration in the scientific world and decided to do something totally different. Something that had been in my head for a few years now: Coffee. I applied at a small coffee roasting company and was hired as a store manager.
Half a year later this decision still feels very right. The skills I acquired during my studies form a general framework that also serve my current activities. Furthermore, I am working with a product that I am intrinsically interested in. I also highly prefer the social work environment over the (intern) jobs I had in office spaces. In 3,5 days of work I earn enough to pay the bills and still safe some. In my spare time I have the opportunity to chase other projects such as freelance jobs in data analysis, or personal projects like organizing parties or producing a cooking book. The opportunities from my current perspective are broad. In the future I see myself as an entrepreneur or freelancer that chooses or creates his own projects. For me variety equals pleasure and productivity.
The central theme in my starting ‘professional’ life is that the path you travel – that what you are doing during the day – must be personal relevant and fulfilling. That’s what matters. In my opinion most companies hardly satisfy these criteria. The hierarchic structures that characterize bigger companies motivate employees by more indirect ways such as the prospect of a prestigious function or a higher salary. For me, work should be a lot more than just that: it should inspire and coincide with who I am and what I want to stand for in the world. Work should provide autonomy and take the form of a boundless travel: then everything is possible and working hard is the same as leading an inspired life.