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I am not a box


July 12, 2012 by Sarah

Lots of people really struggle to understand what I do. And I think it’s partly because I struggle to communicate it. Not only do I not fit into a nice and tidy ‘occupation’ but I also have a raft of different areas that I ‘work’ on. One day I might be a managing a sport initiative, the next day I’m a painter, or a non-for-profit Board member, blogger, or (just to add even more randomness to the mix) an interior designer. Perhaps not surprisingly, I always dread being asked, ‘what is it that you do exactly?’.

I’ve tried really hard to accept and be comfortable with the fact that what I do is not easy to explain. But sometimes Top Dog tells me that people will only understand and value what I do when I start earning decent money from my new adventures. Or that I should feel guilty for leaving behind a secure and well paying career because work is meant to be boring – and I’m really just chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with all this ‘love what you do’ malarkey.

Of all the challenges I’ve experienced on my Work Experiment journey, I think these thoughts have been the hardest to understand and reject. But hearing my play guru Selina Barker share her story in this video gave me strength and clarity. I am on the right path and while I can’t always explain what I do in a nice and neat elevator pitch, I am a lot happier than I’ve ever been. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.


  1. Brigitte says:

    Sarah! Thank you so much for this blog post. Reading this is as if you gave something in me a voice. I also always struggle when I should explain my work. In my case it is that I can’t define myself as a market researcher because my heart is not in it although it’s what makes my living. And so I am lost for words. Associates tell me that I shouldn’t sell myself short since I have so many cool work projects and clients I could brag about and clients give my great reviews but what’s the use when my heart is not in it? Much love to you, Brigitte

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey Brigitte – I’ve always thought our stories were similar. It’s funny though, even though we live on different sides of the world and only know each other through the 30DC, I feel like I could explain what you do. To me you are an incredible painter and an inspiring writer. No doubt there’s more to it than just that – and I’m sure you are just as fantastic in other areas of your life (like market research) – but when you paint/write it all seems so simple and you are just…you! Beautiful, inspiring you! So excited to see where your project takes you x

  3. […] Sarah from the work experiment made the image in this post. She blogs about her mission to create work that feels like play and wrote an excellent post called “I am not a box”. […]

  4. Anna says:

    Love it!! You are an explorer, that’s for sure!! You explore yourself, your talents, your challenges, your passions, your fears, your interests, the world, etc.

    Keep exploring!!

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Hello! I'm Sarah Lou Davies a 30 something kiwi trying to make work play (and pay!).

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