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4 Ways to Stop Caring What People Think About Your Career Choices

02 March 2022

Freelancing from home is a rewarding lifestyle option for some, but for others, it can be a tough choice to make. However, whatever you decide, it's important to figure out how to stop caring what people think about your career choices.

The fact is that some people will be judgmental of your career choices. Whether they simply don't understand why you'd choose an unconventional way of working, or they're actively jealous of your freedom to choose, there are going to be people who take issue with your choices.

There are few things worse than being in a career that you are not fully passionate about, but you know you must keep going for the sake of your bank account. It's not uncommon for people in this situation to question their own choices, or even feel a sense of anxiety about their chosen path.

Many people struggle to find a balance between work and their life outside of the office. But with the rise in freelancing, it's easier than ever before to create a flexible career for yourself that helps you learn what you're passionate about.

If you're worried about what people think, here are a few tips to help you to stop caring and to just do what makes you happy (which you should do regardless!)

1. Look For Your "Tribe"

The people who best understand your journey are the ones who are going through it, too. That's a big reason many remote workers form powerful communities with their peers – so they can talk through the challenges of freelance life and also learn from others' experiences.

If you're the first in your friendship circle to start your own business from home and you have a lot of questions about what freelancing is really like, then other people doing it can provide a strong support network.

It's good for your motivation to remember that you're not alone. There are many people who work from home and who also struggle with being misunderstood by others. If you find yourself feeling confused by this, then it may be a good idea to talk with other people who work from home so you can feel more confident about where you're going!

2. Allow Yourself to Change Your Mind

When you first decide to freelance, it's often because you're unhappy with your current wage or how you perceive your job affecting your quality of life. But once you begin your freelance journey, it feels challenging to change course if you realise that online work isn't exactly as attractive as you thought.

For example, the thought of waking up and working all day from the comfort and quiet at home is a big draw to freelancing. But then when you're actually doing it, maybe there's a lot more structure than expected or maybe the idea doesn't feel quite as appealing.

When the novelty wears off, it's hard to keep going. That's why you need to be prepared for this in advance and have a plan in place just in case you find it's not what you had imagined. Flexibility is the biggest advantage to working from home. So, if you're unhappy with your current projects and want to change direction, being able to easily adjust and pivot is a good way of testing the water. 

3. Don't Take Criticism Too Personally

A common complaint amongst freelancers is that they often feel misunderstood and often criticised by their family and friends. For example, people may assume all sorts of reasons for why you prefer to run your own business, but in reality, their assumptions are usually unfounded.

To help you get past this, work at understanding those around you before taking any criticism personally. For example, try to put yourself in the other person's shoes before you take it too personally.

People will compare your lifestyle choices with those of others, whether it's online or in person. However, it's important to remember that everyone's situation is different, and what works for you may not work for someone else.

4. Be Honest with Yourself About Why You're Freelancing

It's essential that you know yourself well enough in order to be sure that the lifestyle is right for you. So perhaps the most important thing you can do is just be honest with yourself.

If you're pursuing a freelance career because it feels good to make money by doing something you love, that's a noble reason to continue on this path! Many also see it as an opportunity for personal growth, which means these people may have a more positive outlook on their careers and life.

But if money is your chief priority and not the work itself, then that's quite different and might be a sign that freelancing is not for you.

For many people, having the financial security that freelancing affords them is an attractive alternative to the instability of unemployment. However, chasing money without the passion can quickly wear on you and make you question your purpose.

If you want to be happier and more successful, choose to live your own life and not to follow the herd. Think for yourself, be open to new ideas, and don't be afraid to break with traditions.

 

Don't worry about what other people think of your decisions - you are the only one who can live your life, so make it a life worth living!