The Last Five Years

Looking back at my full-time career

Billy Frazier

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It’s creepy how accurate my five-year, custom bobblehead is…

If you’re curious about why I started working full-time in the first place, check out this post I wrote five years ago.

Last month, I hit a pretty big professional milestone:

I’ve been working at Slalom for five years.

This is a big deal for me because this hasn’t only been my longest full-time job — it’s my first and only.

You see, I made the somewhat-iffy decision to freelance full time right out of college and eight years later, I stumbled into this amazing opportunity.

If you would have told me five years ago that I was going to stay somewhere this long, I would’ve thought you were out of your mind. After all, the old me took pride in his ability to work for himself and his goal was to help others do the same. He was hell-bent on working for himself forever, no matter what it took.

The older, wiser me now knows there is more than one way to define success and in my case, my definition of success has changed quite a bit.

Back when I worked for myself, I dreamt of designing the next big app and selling it for more money than I could ever imagine.¹ I would retire early, travel the world, and fund ideas for all of the smart people I would meet during my travels.

These days, success looks a wee bit different.

To me, success now looks like helping to create a smaller, more inclusive world where everyone has access to a free exchange of ideas and opportunities.

Does this sound a little too refined? Well, I sure hope so considering it has taken me roughly five years to piece together.

Just because I changed my definition of success doesn’t mean I still don’t have the urge to create and build things on my own. I do — I just now scratch this itch outside of my 9-to-5.

To some entrepreneurial extremists it might seem like I sold out, but to me, this means I can now be much more intentional with the time I have left.

Working full time has also taught me so many valuable lessons that would’ve been much harder on my own.

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Billy Frazier

Senior experience designer, writer, and leader who’s fumbling forward through a creative career while helping others do the same.