Hey all! I’m in the mood to rant, so I shouldn’t waste this golden opportunity, amirite?!
Okay. Here’s a typical weekday in my life, Monday-Friday:
6:20 am – Wake up.
7:00 am – Work begins.
3:30 pm – Work ends.
3:35 pm – Home (yay for a short commute!)
4:00 pm – Hop on my computer and work on side projects for the rest of the day.
12:00 am – Go to bed.
By using basic math, you can reason that I spend eight hours a day, 40 hours a week working and making money at a “real” job. I also spend 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week working but not making money doing “side jobs”.
Let me be clear that I love what I do, no matter how much of my life it consumes. Let me be even clearer and specify that I love what I don’t get paid to do. I don’t get paid to host two podcasts, I don’t get paid to spend eight hours a week prepping and editing them, I don’t get paid to do stuff for Zaxy.com, I don’t get paid to do stuff for BlondeNerd.com, I don’t get paid for running Facebook pages, I don’t get paid for assuming a Community Manager-esque role for an online community, I don’t get paid to travel across the country and attend conventions, and I don’t get paid for spending a few hours every day reading, taking notes, writing about and discussing videogame industry news.
I get paid for sitting in a cubicle 40 hours a week and immersing myself in subject material I don’t give two shits about. I get paid to put up with grown-ass adult’s drama that I’ve learned to tune out (okay, that last part isn’t officially on my job requirements, but it’s a daily thing!).
So, yes. I love what I don’t get paid to do.
More and more, I’m finding that a part-time job would be far more beneficial for my “after hours” schedule. It’s getting to the point where my unpaid activities are taking priority over my “real-life” job.
Anyone else see this situation as head-on collision waiting to happen?
Thing is, I need my job. It pays me considerably well and offers great benefits. Oh, and it’s close to my apartment and has a consistent schedule. Those are the only things I like about it. It absolutely kills me that I spend 40 hours of my life, each week, in a building where you are expected to act like someone you aren’t, where wearing jeans is considered inappropriate, where people keep an eye on you because they want to chastise you for something (just for the hell of it), where people thrive on drama and where being a happy person is, in a sense, frowned upon because others are so unhappy with their own life.
“Get another job!”, you say! Trust me, if I could find that ideal money-maker I would! As I’ve said before, the only things keeping me sane are my side projects, and those are run on a tight schedule as is. Perhaps I could find a part-time job somewhere, but if the schedule isn’t consistent it could really conflict with podcast recording and editing. Once I get a few bills paid off, it might be a more of a realistic option I can look into.
In a sense, you could say that I’m using my job for the hours, benefits, location and pay, which is what a lot of people do. They settle. And that is friggen’ sad. If you’re not happy at your current job for whatever reason, do what you must to work towards something that makes you happy. Don’t go “through the motions” for the rest of your life. I can say with confidence that absorbing the side projects that I have has given me hope that someday, something will come out of them and I’ll be able to quit this stupid job. And do the biggest, most obnoxious happy dance you’ve ever seen.
And if these side projects don’t turn into a paying gig? I’ll still continue to spend 40 hours a week on them, because it’s something I love doing. It’s as simple as that.