I was at a party the other day.
The festivity was high, wine and conversation flowing freely.
Most there were friends, but I met several people, and was reminded how hard it is to explain to a new acquaintance what exactly I do for work.
Why is this?
2 reasons came to mind:
- Our society has a narrow idea of work, so anything that’s slightly outside the box is sometimes met with incredulity or the assumption that your office is your bed, and your work clothes pajamas → neither of which are true for me.
- Branding as it exists today is a relatively new and changing field, so it’s hard to explain in a way that’s not jargon-y.
Regarding #1 → I want to improve my confidence in being fine with being different.
Being okay with being self-employed, never having had a “normal job.” There are days though when I wish that people understood it easily, so I didn’t have to explain myself and my work.
And for #2 → It might take some humility for me to just accept that to most people I’m “just” a graphic designer.
Why do I resist this? I think it’s because to me that’s someone in a backroom 90’s-style office designing flyers that go on a community bulletin board.
And what’s the problem with that?
Nothing, I guess, but to me it seems that it lacks value, and whatever I do, I want my work to have meaning, to make a difference.
Does this make me full of hubris? Or is this just a natural, human desire?
I think the latter, but at the end of the party, I’m still introduced as “a graphic designer,” and a little part of my soul wilts.