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.
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)!