Believe in yourself
Five years ago, I was hired as a design consultant for a company that licensed different brands. Working as a freelance designer, I never imagined I would work with one company for so long. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had other long-term contracts with several companies over the years, but I’m never thinking I am going to stay for years.
I really liked working with this team. I love that I had a lot of freedom. There was trust I was running the business properly, and I got support when I needed it. Most importantly, it was a creative experience.
Over the course of those five years, I worked on two brands, and the last brand I was working on I truly loved designing for them. I was eager to see this brand take off.
After a few years, and lots of travel, I started to feel restless. One, I was half heartedly acknowledged for the job I was doing. Two, I did not increase my rate, and nor did they ever offer. Wait, I take that back one time after they fired someone, they asked me to take on his slack, and said we will up your pay, but it never happened.
It angers me because why would I do that? There are so many reasons, but main reason, I didn’t value or believe in myself. I didn’t take a risk, and leave. I didn’t even recognize myself because that was so not me. So many designers going in an out. I knew I was more talented than some of those coming around. I’m sure they were making more than I was, but yet, I stayed, and resented it.
Last year, I was ready to bail. I hated that I stopped believing in myself. I was on such a great path before working with high caliber brands. Damn, I was the girl who quit her well paying job on a whim, and moved to Barcelona, Spain to start a freelance career. Why did I stop believing in me? I’m not sure to be honest. Somehow, I temporarily lost my spark.
A few weeks ago, after tons of layoffs, and changes in the company, the conversation of lowering my pay came up because of company financial difficulties. I laughed. Seriously, lower my pay? Honestly, I considered it. I tried to write down options to make it work. But then I woke up one morning and said Absolutely NOT ! This is my chance to escape this dysfunction I created. I have to take responsibility for this behavior. I can’t blame them. I allowed this to happen.
It’s been two weeks now, and I won’t deny, there is a sadness I feel. I stopped working on a brand I enjoyed designing for. I had friendships that I started, and people I liked working with. I had a consistency of what my days would look like.
However, the change was needed. I’m learning to believe in myself again. In the last two weeks, I’ve had opportunities come up. I’ve made new friendships. I’m being honest with myself. Most importantly, I’m now creating a life I want and deserve. I’ve had friends reach out and want to help.
I was hesitant to share my truth. Many people look at my Instagram and think I have it all figured out. I don’t, who does? I’ve had an amazing career, and opportunities of a lifetime, and I am ready to create new ones! I’d love to hear from you!
Image from @frenchwords