If you’re a young creative person chances are you are having to deal with the harsh realities of a Day Job.
This is not necessarily a job you have to work during the day. Maybe you’re waiting tables every night.
The point is you’re doing something short-term to facilitate and finance a dream.
This situation can really fuck with your head. It’s a minefield of anxiety and emotional chaos. How do you keep your head above water whilst moving towards your goal?
In 2015′s “Getting There: A Book of Mentors” Mad Men-creator Matthew Weiner says: “Get a day job, but don’t get too good at it.”
I like this piece of advice a lot. It’s simultaneously realistic and revolutionary.
Growing up we get told we have to try our best in everything we do. This is Bullshit. There are some things you definitely don’t want to become the best at.
So much of our lives are based on timing and chance. The place we find ourselves living in, the people we sleep with, the jobs we work. You do a lot of things just because they were in front of your face.
The idea of having a creative dream is that it’s a future you’ve decided for yourself. It’s the sum of your influences for sure, yet you decide what gets put in and what gets left out. Chance is eliminated from the equation.
People can hate their jobs for a variety of different reasons. Laziness, boredom, shitty co-workers or long hours. Not everyone hates their job because they’d rather be doing something else.
If you truly hate your job because you’d be working on a passion project then you’re actually in a slightly better position then so many others. You have a temporary obstacle in your path. Others are stuck in an all-encompassing existential malaise.
George Carlin said: “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” Even if you’re not excelling at your day job chances are some other moron is actually trying and still doing a worse job than you.
The trick to getting by is being really cool to the people you work with. They don’t want to hear about your half-finished screenplay about the lost city of Atlantis; they want you to pull your weight so they can leave on time.
If you’re hung up on the fact that you’re working a day job you hate, find solace in the fact that you actually have purpose in your life. But remember if you’re not good at your day job and you’re not working towards a dream, then what the fuck are you doing?