Blog post

 It has been four years since I began working as freelancer, not belonging to any organization. When I retired from Keio Media Design as I hit the retirement age, I thought about what I should do with my career. I had advocated the concept of designing your own career as the 21st century would be the decade of individuals, rather than organizations to the young people. I also learned that there would be multiple forms of jobs and employment, through my involvement with the Global Agenda Council and Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum on the subject of “Future of Jobs”. Thus I decided to practice what I preach and what I believed to be the future.
As I worked as freelancer for some 7 years right after I graduated from college, I did not have much anxiety about becoming the freelance again. I was a bit concerned, however, about how I would feel as I had worked for one organization after another for close to two decades.
 Fortunately, I received offers to serve as non-executive director of the board as the demand for outside/independent board members increased. I was also invited to give a talk at seminars in and out of Japan. I was busy initiating seminar and workshop series to develop individuals, writing columns and few books. What I liked was that I stayed away from the meetings and conferences whose effectiveness and efficiency I had questioned. I felt “free” and thoroughly enjoyed being freelancer.
As four years have passed as freelancer, I am faced with the question how to design my career and lifestyle, now that technology has transformed the world and Japan experiencing extreme longevity. As I am one of baby boomers, I cannot work crazy hours and need to pace myself now , despite my continued effort to maintain my physical fitness, good diet and sleep. Overseas trips make me more tired than before. I am fortunate as I have no serious illness, but mental stamina is affected by physical stamina and I need to make more effort to maintain the high energy level and high spirit than a few years ago.
Technologies have enabled me to do more things than before, but it requires me to keep on learning new skills and new knowledge to make the use of them. It does take longer to learn and apply new skills than before.
Regarding the seminar and workshop series I have continued for several years, I need to continue but with new format and content, which requires considerable efforts and collaboration to make them happen.
I have quite a few professionals in different fields who support me on projects and want to increase both the number and content. I am at a loss as to where to start.
Technologies have worked as enablers as above, but they have increased the tasks and activities for each assignment. For example, the talk at the conference used to be simple as it was the talk there and then. Now outline needs to be prepared well in advance, slides to be prepared and checked few days before and report of the talk needs to be reviewed and revised before it is uploaded on the web. In other words, the scope of assignment has expanded.
As I am in charge of all the activities I do myself, I sometimes find that the workload is more than I can handle. The increased volume may be due to the fact that organizations have more work, but with fewer people in charge.
My challenge now is how to revisit my career of freelancing after four years of actual experience and to design freelancing 2.0 for myself, as the environment and I have changed in the past four years.
I believe this issue is what many young people and those with full time job at large corporations will face soon. I hope I can share my own experiences of working as freelancer AND my experiment (which I plan to continue) of new way of work/life. It is the call for LEARNING by DOING.

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