Women tell Women

What does it mean to build a career?

— Evi O

Building a career is creating a work ecosystem that allows me to grow purposefully, to be challenged, to work with the people I respect and to pay for my life. This ecosystem can be either something you create or contribute to – it doesn’t matter. Being challenged is important. It helps you to skill up – technically or inter-personally.

It is important that you see your work as a bigger picture. To work doesn’t only mean finishing tasks at hand, but actively contributing to the society. It gives a sense of deeper purpose and allows you to discern how your role can impact others positively. A job should be a vehicle for your values in life. 

To work with and for the world means you will meet a lot of people. Respect and kindness must follow. Being open-minded is key and even though you may not be friends with everyone, or you might disagree with their values, working towards collective goodness is enriching. Nothing is black or white. Find wisdom in the shades of grey.

Money is important too. It’s worth being savvy about them. Having said that, I never put money as a priority in my career. I see them as a tool. To excel is not synonymous with a title or a high salary. It is to understand what I want to stand by. I get more excited working on projects I have wanted to work on and trust me, the money will come when your performance is aligned with your beliefs. Think about money in creative ways, they do not necessarily need to come solely from your work. You will feel free in terms of choosing your professional endeavors once you recognize creating a career is not just a transactional matter.

To define my personal career path, I had to understand the world first. I had to evolve creatively and learn to take advantage of my mix of cynicism and naivety that translates into optimism when it comes to how I develop new ideas. I do not think of work as a chore. I love what I do but I look beyond, feeling most fulfilled knowing that my work has allowed me to impact the world in positive ways – directly and indirectly.

Evi O –
Multidisciplinary Designer

Evi O is a multidisciplinary designer, a publisher and a self-taught artist based in Sydney. Color is the cornerstone of her practice that is strongly influenced by people, scenes and places that left their mark on her memory. She is the founder of Evi-O.Studio – a creative bureau working across editorial and graphic design. Evi publishes art and design titles under Formist Editions. Her passion project titled Day Trip is a series of hiking books extracting inspiration found in nature.