In this episode, I have a wonderful deep talk with Morgan Winegord, a professional Graphic Designer, about the transitional periods of life and pivoting in her career. Listen to us discuss the many transitions we’ve had throughout our 20’s and how we’ve grown to be accepting of them.
Morgan has always known that she was attracted to things that weren’t status quo, so she’s always admired people who were diverting from the norm and striking out on their own. “It didn’t even matter if they were just starting out, I was enamored with the fact that they did it,” said Winegord. “Taking risks is not my favorite, but it’s something that goes hand in hand with not doing something that is ‘normal’.”
“In college, my dream job was to design the coupons that go in the bags at Bath & Body Works,” Winegord shared. She missed a deadline for that, but ended up getting a great internship at a retail design firm and was designing for companies like Whole Foods and Petco.
“I wanted people to see my work and I did that, but I wasn’t satisfied,” Winegord said. Morgan had this great portfolio, but she wasn’t getting any joy out of her work and decided to pivot. “I went home without a plan but I had a really great boss at a small agency in Cleveland.” Morgan ended up taking on one freelance project with this boss, which ended up kicking off her three year freelance career.”
Morgan loved freelancing and easily adapted to it. According to her, she freelanced for a while without ever getting really serious about it. She also wasn’t fully supported by the people around her at that time and realized she had two options: Continue freelancing and get serious about it, or go work in a corporate setting for more stability. “The thought of 9-to-5 was enticing to me for guaranteed money and benefits, and I could stay in my same line of work so I was curious and wanted to better understand where I fit,” Winegord explained.
“I had another attachment which was working at American Greetings. I got in and it was really difficult. I spent a year not in a position that was even creative,” Winegord shared.
Despite the considerable time and effort she gave, Morgan once again found herself lacking passion at work. She ended up keeping one of her contacts from American Greetings, which has evolved into her current full time job. One again, rather than remaining complacent in a job that was not fulfilling, Morgan chose to chase passion and purpose and through these seasons of change, became really great at pivoting.
“You have to be patient with yourself and give yourself some grace in transitory times. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, and I’m okay with that,” said Winegord. “I’m excited about my thirties because my twenties have been such a huge transition. It’s the unknown, but I’m excited about that because I know that I’ve already tried so much and I’m a little bit closer to figuring it out.”
Societal norms make it easy for us to believe we should be accomplishing certain milestones by certain ages, but the reality is that everyone’s timeline is completely different. Going to college, getting a degree and following the status quo in a corporate setting works amazingly for some people, and it doesn’t work for others. Everyone has their own aspirations and passions, and that’s all okay.
From a young age, we’re told what we should do, when we should do it and who we should be. So diverting from those societal steps can make us feel misunderstood. Creative professionals and entrepreneurs are constantly reminded of societal expectations that may cause us to doubt ourselves. As frustrating as it can be, just remember that it’s admirable to not be “normal” because it takes a lot of courage.
The reality is that every time you remind yourself of an obstacle in front of you, you’re only setting yourself back. You have to stay in your lane and focus on you because there’s always going to be another creative, graphic designer, painter, etc. and there’s enough space for everyone. If you’re a creative professional who loves stability and routine, go chase that.
We often tell ourselves that we should be something that we don’t actually want to be, which ultimately sets us up for failure and unhappiness. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better doing the thing you want to do rather than all the things you made yourself feel like you had to do when you weren’t mentally prepared to do them.
You don’t have to stick with things that you’ve outgrown because they’re comfortable. You can outgrow your career, your relationship, your friendships and even your expectations. When you do, don’t make yourself feel like you have to stick to a version of yourself that you’ve outgrown. Follow your gut and what brings you joy.
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Until next time my friends – Arastasia
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