|the soapbox @ benturner.com|
"It Begins", an Essay
Hmm, the Soapbox appears to be a week late. But let me explain myself. This is important.
Last week I got a job offer that allows me to work on Web projects for large communications/media corporations. Not only that, but it lets me work remotely, which is to say, I don't have to go into the office and work there. This allows me to continue my classes and work when I have free time.
So I was assigned a big project to start off and it's kept me fairly well-occupied throughout the end of this week. The Soapbox, which I usually write in the middle of the week (as I'm sure some readers really hate) waited a bit longer so that when I found a good time to pause and reflect, I could write the Soapbox properly.
Remember when I spoke about the materialization in my life being associated with the year 1998? Did you believe me? If not, what do you have to say for yourself? This is my first big break. Huge.
Cracking the huge, monied corporations can be tough, but I've taken a big step closer to it, and that's where the money flows when it comes to web sites. Not only do I get paid quite well to do this work, but I also will get a lot of exposure and resume-padding for this. And my employers and fellow project members are a cool lot to deal with.
I'll have more opportunities to freely express things I've wanted to do for web sites. In the past, I didn't have so many opportunities to build sites. A lot of ideas probably went to waste. But now I have plenty of work and it's very, very fucking satisfying.
I'm one of those die-hard web designers. I actually enjoy sitting down and preparing text for HTML and stylesheets. I enjoy incorporating images I've Photoshopped the Hell out of into a textual layout. I enjoy the freedom of creating something from relative scratch to finish. Full control over every aspect of my work. How many jobs allow that? Isn't it somewhat frustrating working on piecemeal with other people? Granted, I won't always be able to oversee something from beginning to end (and for a designer, he usually wants to do everything himself), but this'll still be a big break.
Sure, all this has happened quite fast and I'm not established with these people yet, but the future looks pretty damn good. I like the people I'm working for, because their attitude is good and they enjoy what they're doing too (and unlike other web design companies, they use the Internet for purposes other than making money). But even if something happens and I don't stay with these guys as long as I'd like, I've made the leap from peon-time to...well, small-time. ;)
The best part of it all? I didn't even have to do my song and dance to get this job. The offer came unprompted and was ironically as a result of being around on the Web for ages. It's a long story, and like the other many details I've left out, I'll not expand on this. But it feels great to not have to wave my arms in order to get attention.
Okay, so back to the materialization. This is a big slap to the people who doubt me. Some say I take things too seriously, and I try too hard. Some say my site is horrible and it lacks any overall goal. Just bad essays strung together with no order, no purpose. Some personally believe that there is nothing rewarding with continuing a site.
After the Soapbox (then Ben's Editorial) began to age and I kept writing in it week after week, I established that the years in the Soapbox could signify stages in my young life. I found that I could notice trends in my development through the Soapbox. Hence the names, like "Education" and "Materialization." In every year of the Soapbox, I've passed some big stage in my life and I think it reflects itself through the style and the choice of content in each year's Soapbox. After last year, which was my sort of self-realization year (of which, I admit, I will have dozens of others), I knew that this year would be the year all the work finally paid off. I got noticed.
A little caveat. I am still a young boy, pretty much, with plenty to learn. A true adult is far more experienced and educated in the ways of the world, and I have long to reach that point. I am also still not famous, or rich, or anything which distinguishes me clearly from others. But in my personal sphere of life, getting work handed to me which will end up marketing things for big companies...that's a huge success. It's a big step, and I'll reemphasize this: I have a long way to go, but how many people could say the same when they were twenty years old?
I am also working with another company which hands me small advertisements from realty/moving companies to make for them. I have another cool employer for this one. And the deadlines are comfortable and the pay is reasonable. Again, I get the freedom to stay at school, take my necessary classes, and study plenty. The biggest handicap for me has been finding a good web design job which didn't require local work. I've gotten over that for now, and that helps my problem of trying to juggle work and school. I'm really pleased.
I've been hoping something like this would happen, but I haven't really been pushing for a job as of late. As always, that's when the offer came.
You must understand that this validates my opinion that sticking with something eventually pays off. Some other site authors stop their sites because they're not getting anywhere with them, or no one's reading them. Well, you have to stick with it and keep writing, but don't depend solely on the site to get you anywhere. Put your concentration all in one thing and I personally feel that you'll fail. You need to have outlets for your energy, and zeal for many different things. Your reach extends over a greater area of subjects and you're more likely to do well.
I, umm, wanted to keep this short and sweet, without describing too much about what was happening... So, with that, I'll conclude just by saying this:
Ben Turner got a big break this week.
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