July 2011 – 1 Woman 2 Careers

I remember when I was very young, around 8 or so, I’d tell my mom that I didn’t want to just be one thing when I grew up; I wanted to be many things.

I wanted to be a architect, and an artist and an engineer and  oceanographer and a doctor and a veterinarian (glad I didn’t choose that one)… and the list goes on. But she told me I’d have to pick one thing else I’d be a “jack of all trades and a master of none“.

I never forgot that conversation through all my years and thinking back on it makes me smile. What dreams I had huh? But I still do to some degree. By day I’m an engineer and by night and weekends, as time permits, I’m an artist. Of course I often think about reversing this and being an artists by day instead… Nevertheless, I’m one woman with 2 careers.

I remember reading an an article entitled “Choosing Art as a Career” which stated:

“Some people choose a job simply because it pays the bills and leaves them with plenty of time to pursue a fine-art career part time. Or one in an unrelated field so it won’t use up their creative energy. Only you can know if this is right for you.”

Which brings me to the point: I’m one woman with two careers, can I be successful in both or will one/both ultimately suffer and never be fully realised?

Part of me is glad that I don’t have to sell my artwork to support myself or my family because of the stress it would bring and the tendency for artist to end up painting what they believe others want without some personal connection to it themselves. I don’t claim that is the case for all full time artist but I’ve seen it happen. And in a country which has one of the highest costs of living in the world, the challenge is real.

Either way it’s a hard decision. Shall I push to have both careers and try to excel in both? Will I end up being a jack of two trades and never master either? Shall I let one career sit on the back burner while the other takes precedence, shall I drop one all together, shall I end up switching them around … who knows … I’m taking one day at a time and going where passion and fate lead me… this woman’s journey.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar position in regards to your career, or other life decisions?