Choosing Not to Look for a ‘Real’ Job


Most people think my 21-year-old daughter is unemployed, but she’s not. She’s a..


Full-time writer, blogger, and musician. So far unpaid… And so far completely undaunted by this fact.

I love Imogen’s description of herself. I found it on her blog, Gossiping with Dragons. 

Full time musician? Yes, Imogen is recording songs and making music videos. She’s not getting paid for this work, but that’s a minor inconvenience, at least for the moment.

The other day, Imogen suddenly said, “I love my work!”

I know how she feels. I love what I do too. “Just imagine if you could get paid for doing what you love,” I replied.

“I’d have the best job in the world.”

Doing what you love and getting paid for it? Is that an unrealistic expectation? Some people say their work is only a means to earn money. This money allows them to spend their spare time doing the things they really love. But there must be others, like Imogen, who are content to earn less as they continue to pursue their passions.

“How are you going to survive while you work towards your dream?” I ask.

“Frugally,” replies Imogen with a smile.

Yes, my daughter seems undaunted by the fact she earns very little money at the moment.

Not everyone understands what Imogen is trying to do. “Has Imogen found a job yet?” people ask.

I answer indirectly: “She’s keeping busy.”

“It must be difficult being unemployed.”

No, it’s wonderful. She’s enjoying every single minute.

So Imogen is following her dream. She has chosen not to look for a ‘real’ job. Instead, she’s working hard in the hope that one day she will have the best job in the world. And as a parent, I’m choosing to keep trusting and encouraging and helping her.

The unschooling adventure continues!

I hope you’ll listen to Imogen’s latest video: Hallelujah. She’s monetised it. If you watch the ad at the beginning, she’ll earn a few cents, and you’ll be supporting an unschooling online musician who one day hopes to have financial success! (Subscribing to her Youtube channel would encourage Imogen as well.)


And here’s the post video shoot interview. The audio isn’t as good as I was hoping because someone close by was using a chainsaw, and it was impossible to remove this sound without affecting the rest of the audio. Although the buzz might be a bit annoying, it’s still possible to hear everything we said.

We chatted about the difficulties of filming in front of an unexpected audience, the various roles: who does what when filming, Imogen’s next song, and lots of other things. We had a lot of fun recording this interview!


If you’d like to hear more about Imogen’s plans and dreams, you could listen to my podcast episode 62: Young Adult Unschoolers, Dreams, Love, and Marriage.


So what do you think? Are you hoping your unschoolers will step into secure jobs? Or are you willing to keep trusting and help them if they want to continue to follow their dreams? If you’ve already done this, I’d love to hear your story.

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  1. Reply

    I love your post video breakfast interview, it is always interesting to hear the roles that you all play and how it all fits together xx

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for watching and listening to our conversation. We had a good laugh together as we were chatting. Of course, what is funny to us isn't always funny to anyone else. So glad you found our video interesting. xxx

  2. Reply

    I love Imogen's description of herself, too! When I was her age I'd just finished a law degree, was about to go to law school and already had a training contract to start work as a solicitor. In between, I had one year scheduled for what I REALLY wanted to do – live in Spain for a year.

    I think I had the balance wrong! In that year in Spain I learned more that I've used in the rest of my life than anything I learned in all the years doing law. I became so much more confident and had heaps of fun.

    It warms my heart to see how Imogen is exploring what she loves to do, and how you and Andy support and encourage her. Well done all of you!

    1. Reply


      I wonder if you were tempted to stay in Spain and not return to law school and your work as a solicitor. Spain sounds perfect for you. After hearing about all your travels and language studies, I can imagine you living and working there. Did you ever consider doing a language degree and going in that direction?

      Thank you for your encouraging words. You understand!

    2. Reply

      Sue, You're very good at asking thought-provoking questions!

      I don't think it even occurred to me to change my plans. Doing what *I* wanted to do just wasn't the paradigm within which I grew up. I just worked hard at my school subjects without ever learning to pay attention to what I loved. By the time i was in my 20s that habit was so ingrained, it took a long time to tune back into what *I* wanted.

      When I think back on my childhood, the last memories I have of doing what I enjoyed are playing with creating comic magazines and hypnotising my siblings (!) both of which I stopped doing when I was about 11 and schoolwork took over all my time.

      Thank you for asking me that – it's made me realise for the zillionth time how glad I am that my children aren't at school!

    3. Reply


      People expect so much of us when we are young. I suppose those who guide us only want us to be happy and successful, but they often push us down pathways that are totally unsuitable. I wonder if you were encouraged to do law because you are very clever. A pity to waste your academic talents, maybe. My parents always wanted me to aim as high as possible. Unlike you, I didn't do as well as expected. Perhaps I was a disappointment. Actually, I think my heart wasn't in my studies because I didn't enjoy the subjects. I did okay but wasn't the shining star people hoped I'd be. It didn't occur to me that I had a choice and could have done something different.

      Hypnotising your siblings… Didn't you use hypnosis with some of your clients? Maybe that interest was valuable!

      What we enjoy doing and what other people think we should do are often two different things. Yes, I'm also very glad my children are not in school and I can encourage them to go along a pathway I never went down but would have loved to explore.

      Now, I'm wondering where your children will go and what they will do. I know they've got lots of time, and will probably explore different areas before they find their biggest passions, but it's an exciting thought. Hopefully, our kids will go places we only dreamed about.

      I have really enjoyed chatting with you, Lucinda. I'm glad you popped back to continue the conversation!

  3. Very wonderful of you to keep trusting and encouraging her. I have faith that she will find her dream job due to your encouragement 🙂

    1. Reply


      Thank you for stopping by. We appreciate your encouraging words!

  4. Reply

    Keep it up, Imogen. A dream and a full life is worth so much more than money. Love and prayers from Denmark

    1. Reply

      Have you ever read the cronicles of Pern? If yes I bet Imogen would love to sing this one:

    2. Reply


      A dream and a full life is worth so much more than money. Oh yes! I've been pondering that. Working for money isn't enough. Work has to be worthwhile, have a purpose, maybe change the world even in a small way. Then it's fulfilling and we are using our talents. I wonder if your musical son (maybe all your children are musical), the one you once mentioned who enjoys playing the piano, wants to pursue his passion.

      Chronicles of Pern? I will have to do some investigating. And we'll listen to the song. Thank you for the suggestion!

      We do appreciate your love and prayers. Sending love to you too. xx

  5. That is one wonderful video! Beautiful voice, beautiful interpretation of Cohen's song. I truly enjoyed it.
    Please follow your dreams, Imogen, you can encourage so many others just by being yourself. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      living a catholic fairytale,

      Thank you! "Imogen, you can encourage so many others just by being yourself." I'm so glad you shared that thought. Yes! We do appreciate your kind feedback about the video. And I'm so pleased you stopped by. I see we are now connected in several places around the Internet. I hope we can share more another time.

      It's Holy Saturday here. Excitement is building as we anticipate vigil Mass tonight. I hope you have a very happy Easter with your family!

  6. Reply

    I must admit that I have some anxieties about where the kids will end up in terms of work. Mostly because I know how awful it is to have to work in jobs you hate in order to make a living. I hope that doesn't happen to them.
    Ari is about to turn 16 and is quite interested in getting a job to have a little money of his own. But the realities are holding him back – trying to find a job that doesn't involve Sunday work, trying to find something for just a few hours a week so he still has time for everything else. Lots of considerations!
    It's very interesting that Imogen is following this path, I wish her all the best.

    1. Reply


      However we homeschool, the day will come for all our children when they have to earn a living. That's just the way it is. I have watched Andy work jobs he hates so he can support his family. I admire what he did, but I didn't like to see him so unhappy in his work. I do hope for different things for our own children. If I can help and support our kids while they're working towards their dreams I will.

      Part-time work for kids is difficult. It seems to me that if a child doesn't get a casual job when they're 15 or not much older, they'll miss out. Employers aren't willing to take on older teenagers because they'll have to pay them more. Saying that, I wonder if now is the time for Sophie to start looking for a job. (She's almost 15.) But if she does that, her freedom will be compromised as you said: Sunday work and having to, maybe, give up some of her activities in order to be available for work, all for a job she may not enjoy. Is the money worth it? My girls like the idea of earning their own money in their own time. Imogen can earn money from giving music lessons. Even busking would bring in a bit of money. Sophie would like to do something with her photography. Perhaps Ari has a skill he could use to earn his own money? I remember he is a photographer too. And a cook. Yes, working for someone else might be easier. You work and you get paid. But working for ourselves is far more enjoyable!

    2. Reply

      I'm back for another comment after seeing this posted on FB and reading the post again. Since my last comment, I've started to make a small income doing what I truly love to do. The income is very small actually, but it's slowly building! So I've come back to encourage Imogen to keep going, to keep that wonderful passion and enthusiasm burning and keep "doing"!
      God bless 😀

    3. Reply


      I'm so glad you added another comment. We are encouraged by your success. It could be very easy to let passion and enthusiasm wither away when progress is slow. But perseverance is needed! I'm amazed at how much more Imogen has learnt (and Sophie too) since she started making music videos. She's been learning how to use different software to record and mix her music. She's been writing her own harmonies and is even thinking about writing her own songs. It's very exciting! Imogen is having to work very hard as she tries to spread the word about her music, but her passion is certainly driving her forward.

      I'm very interested in what you are doing with your weaving. It's good to see you earning some money from your passion. You have a lot of skills to share!

      God bless you too!

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