The dreaded day job

Creative failure gets real job

Expanded version of a YouTube short… I cut a bunch out to keep it under 60s but kept a longer version for you.

Hi Creative people – question. Are you afraid of doing non-creative work? Admission. I kind of am. It feels like I’ve failed as a creative, that I wasn’t good enough or I didnt try enough. But what I’ve found recently is that a day job can be great for a creative, even giving you a creative boost which I’ll get to at the end.

OK we’re going to get real for a second and if this is triggering at all, talk to a friend, family member or professional. But there’s light at the end of this tunnel so stick with me for a second.

I’ve always disliked doing things that take time, don’t seem to matter, and especially if they are also boring. Most non-creatives jobs fall into at least two of those categories, and most of my life I’ve honestly struggled with motivation for work because “just staying alive” has never felt like a good enough reason to put up with with that shit.

I’ve always in danger of falling into well of negative thinking about my life. I’m measuring my life against what I think it could be, and always coming up short. I’m always wishing I wasn’t creative or didnt need to be creative, or at least was just interested in one creative path. I’ve had to make it up as I go along and to be honest, I did it wrong. I needed to stick with things much longer.

I still have this fear my life will turn out to be a disaster. I’ve been afraid of this type of work for a long time, and to be honest even having the fear makes me feel like a shit useless person. I’m not a productive creative and I’m not winning at normal life either.

So these are the type of really negative things I tell myself, and thinking this way has really kept me down. I know to move on I can’t be this negative but I haven’t seen the light yet.

I’m not sure about this video really but my goal is to help other creatives, so talking about the ups and downs of a day job might help I guess. All this is 100% mindset, but that’s easy to say. But just like anything it’s better to think less and do more.

Recently I got my a day job – that is, a non-creative job – and really it was a long time coming. I had enough of being poor and pissing off my wife, so I just walked into the first shop I could imagine myself not crying in and offered myself on a plate. (I’m not saying I’m not a shit person by the way)

So, having a day job. It helps. It’s scary and hard, but the upsides far outweigh the negatives, and if you get the right mindset you can totally thrive.

Seriously, if you’re a confused creative person, of any age, go get a job. Just walk into shops you wouldn’t totally hate to work in and tell them you want to work there with the biggest smile you can muster. That’s how I got mine.

Having a day job will buy you time to work your shit out. It will help you maintain your relationships. No one likes to be around someone who can’t pay their own way, and creative or not, there’s no excuse for it. We’ve gotta show some respect to the ones we love, not just love them.

It will mean you can start the venture you really want to, even if it will take more time. Think about it, if you’re already paying the rent, you can spend a little time building the business the way you want. Having no money will force you to make short sighted decisions, including selling yourself cheap.

The social aspect of the job is really valuable to a recluse like me . I met all these people – some of them are even my type of person. I get music recommendations, meet other creatives, have a laugh, …. If I wasn’t doing this job I’d be sitting at home living in my head, complaining about my bad luck.

This job rocks because it makes me feel younger. I mean it’s a job a younger person would have, shifting stock in and out of an electronics store warehouse. But at this time of my life it’s nice to be able to hang onto that thread of youth and remind myself that actually, I’m still a Peter pan man child (that’s a good thing). It helps me health-wise as otherwise I tend to be pretty sentry

It’s annoying as fuck, really – because I’m so bad at it. It feels a bit weird sometime getting chided by people a decade younger than me. But even in this way it’s interesting to see myself be in this situation I didn’t think I would be able to be in. Being a part of a team is actually really fun. Most people don’t get to do this type of thing in their 40s and in a way it’s pretty lucky.

It’s not your past and future, it’s just a thing you do somethings. Sure, limit the days you work there to four, or even three, but keep them happy. Treat it as personal growth! There are so many upsides to having a day job.

If you’ve ever heard the adage “If you want to get something done ask a busy person” – this applies here. the best thing about having a day job is the motivation you’ll feel to get your creative ass into gear. Having to work at something that is not a part of your vision, while great in the ways I explained, will probably scare the shit out of you and have you seriously thinking about your next move.