• Ellie Chadwick

Is it time to get a real job?



I was told by my parents that I could do anything I wanted in life. That I should follow my dreams and do what makes me happy. 

And for the most part that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I followed my creative passion through high school enrolling in visual art, design, film and television and dance. 

I also became an activist for human rights. 

At 17 I travelled to Cambodia and volunteered in an orphanage (more on that later). 

I completed an undergraduate bachelor degree in creative industries. 

I continued to volunteer as a human rights activist. I returned to Cambodia two more times. 

I started my own business at 21. 

I also bought a van later that year. 

I funded my travels by freelancing as a graphic deisgner and content writer. 

I toured New Zealand with a group of musicians.

I travelled around Tasmania, Vicotoria, visited Adelaide and explorered the east cost of Australia, ending up in the Atherton Tablelands.  

I decided to stay, I got a job as a nanny for 5 months. 

I went to Japan and snowboarded in Hakuba. I then went to India for a month with my best friend.

It wasn’t easy, critics asked me when I was going to get a real job, some of them included my family. 

I had just experienced authentic human connection and compassion from strangers like I’ve never felt in my life.

I was welcomed into people’s homes, offered a hot drink and engaged in meaningful conversation about art, politics and the environment. 

I don’t think I would have felt the same if I’d settled for some graduate job and sat in an office for a year. 

I recently found an email I’d sent to a mentor and good friend of mine which read:

“I have you to thank because I was always worried about working a desk job and you told me I didn't have to that I could contract my skills out and now I'm doing it!”

That was me at 21, having been supported and introduced to alternative and interesting ideas from interactions like Innovate Symposium 3.0.

Life isn’t a mould that you have to fit into. 

I have found so many incredible opportunities to make money and get by or the exchange model - working for food and rent.

‘Real jobs’ don’t make you feel satisfied because there’s a lack of purpose, appreciation or true human connection.

Also most jobs don’t align with my values and I’m not about compromising what I believe in to make a dollar. 

So here I go, setting off on a new adventure, following my intuition to fulfil my sense of purpose and be truely happy. 

Doing what you love makes you happy. 


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