The Necessary Evils?

The idea of the “Day Job” has been a big part of my life ever since I finished high school, although, for me personally it has been more of a “Night Job”, the function remains the same. The “Day Job” is the job you do to make money and pay for important things like rent and food, it also implies that you have a side project such as a hobby or business.

Personally I’ve used Part-Time work in restaurants to get myself through university and fund my creative projects, not to mention the important things like rent and food. In my experience this is not un-common among creative individuals trying to make a living from their work. I’ve often used money from my “Day Job” to buy things such as equipment, licenses and marketing and I’m definitely not alone. Although I owe a lot to my “Day Job” I’ve always wondered are those 20+ hours a week wasted? I mean, obviously not in the financial sense, but in the sense that my goals as an Audio Engineer have nothing to do with waiting tables, and I could be spending that time working on the skills that will help me achieve those goals.

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Image Credit – Joshua McNichols

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who has considered whether my “Day Job” is a fuel for my creative work or a major distraction.
Natalie Davis from Design Sponge(http://paidtoexist.com/how-i-used-my-day-job-to-fund-my-freedom-business/) explains that having her Day Job was necessary and she feels that leaving it was eventually a requirement for her own happiness. Natalie describes the process as being carefully planned out, however, she warns that eventually, much like a trapeze artist hanging on a swing, there was a leap of faith moment in which she needed to let go of her Day Job. This is one way in which I’d like to go about my own transition, but, I feel like I’m likely to plan for too long and be afraid to make that leap all the while being stuck with my complaints of wasting time at my “Day Job”.
Tom Hess(https://tomhess.net/MusicCareerBackUpPlans.aspx) explains that the Day Job is a horrible trap that aspiring entrepreneurs get stuck in by saying that the security and comfort they provide makes it logically(at least from a financial stand point) impossible to justify leaving. Tom appears to justify my own fears about the “Day Job” and makes me feel like quitting is the best course of action in order to maximise my own attention and energy. He includes a quote by Jim Rohn that explains how this waste of your own energy could just be fuel for someone else’s business and how that could be a bad thing for you.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn (http://startupbros.com/the-harsh-truth-why-your-side-business-is-failing-and-how-to-fix-it/)

Finally, Johnathan Mead wisely advises using your “Day Job”, not only as financial fuel, but to use it in every way possible to help your side business. While still weening off his hours at work he used task optimization and other organisation skills to do his current job extremely efficiently. He said these skills he developed were crucial to the success of his side business, which eventually became his full time job (http://theabundantartist.com/how-to-build-an-art-business-while-working-a-day-job/).

Even though at times I feel like up and quitting my “Day Job” it seems as though professionals who have been where I am would advise on staying and planning a gradual transition with a leap of faith moment, all the while making the most out of anything I can learn. This seems like a justifiable course of action and I will begin my transition this week by going to my “Day Job” with a new learn-everything-I-can attitude.

However, all said and done, one day I hope to leave this note on my bosses desk(in a friendly way)!

I Quit(put at end)

 

 

 

 

 

The Necessary Evils?

The Creative Professional Identity

I’ve always been aware of the challenges surrounding getting work in the creative industries. However I never fully considered the difficulties involved with actually working in them until this very week. Ever since I started down this path as a Game Designer the biggest challenge that was right in front of me was “getting noticed”. I never really broke out which was a tough pill to swallow and it eventually led to me giving up. This week as I’ve taken a closer look I now realize that this is just one of the many difficulties that creative individuals have to deal with when working, or trying to get work within the industry.

I’ve included a list at the end (not created entirely by me) that I believe sums up these difficulties, however I wanted to focus on one in particular and hopefully identify why I believe these “difficulties” are a two sided coin.

Quotefancy-1664-3840x2160When I was working with a small group as a Game Designer I personally experienced a great deal of these difficulties although at the time I condensed them into the same problem of not having a budget or not being able to ride off of the fame of a previously released title. At the time the only thing that mattered was success, we wanted to be noticed and we wanted our game to sell. However this obsession with success always distracted us from our project. We would sometimes be thinking more about selling our product than creative solutions to the problems we were having.  Darius Kazemi promotes an opposite approach to this mentality among creative individuals, using his famous lottery analogy:

  • “There are two kinds of creative advice you can get from creative people, The first is how to buy more lottery tickets and the second is how to win the lottery and I think the former is of great use and the latter is nonsense” Darius Kazemi (2014)

What Darius is Trying to explain is that people can help you create something(buy a lottery ticket), but whether or not that creation will be a success is entirely random(win the lottery), and more importantly you shouldn’t bog yourself down creatively by worrying about how successful your creation will be. Although I don’t agree holistically with his approach, as in, I believe you can learn things that will help your creations succeed, Darius certainly raises a good point about focusing on your project and doing the best you can with it rather than worrying about whether people will like it or not.

References:

Darius Kazemi [XOXO Festival]. (2014, Oct 24th). Darius Kazemi, Tiny Subversions – XOXO Festival(2014). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_F9jxsfGCw

(Picture) Author Unknown. (2015). Albert Einstein Quotes. Retrieved from https://quotefancy.com/quote/2353/Albert-Einstein-In-the-middle-of-difficulty-lies-opportunity


 

The Creative Professional Identity