I need a job that will a) allow me to pursue my interests and b) not make me miserable
June 17, 2012 7:54 PM Subscribe
Given my present situation, how do I find a day job that allows me to pursue my interests? If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, how did you change things for the better? Exciting personal details inside!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Some background: I'm in my mid-twenties. I have a solid but not spectacular B.A. in history from a good university where I was an assistant editor for an under-read student literary magazine. The first few years after graduation were rocky ones, as I was completely directionless and gypsied from city to city taking a variety of low-paying, menial clerical/customer-service related office jobs, as well as some other odd jobs. Happily I've never been fired/laid off. However, the fact that I jumped from thing to thing (staying a year at most), as well as the fact that there was one very large several-month-long gap of unemployment, doesn't look great to potential employers. My lack of hard skills hasn't really helped, either.
I don't mind admitting that during this time my mental health was often quite shaky. I was deeply, deeply unhappy with every aspect of my life.
It's clear to me that the root of my problems was my lack of direction.
In one very important sense, all of this changed. I experienced a surge of ambition. I realized that if I had to make a concerted effort to write and illustrate my own work and attempt to make a career of it. I suppose graphic novels are the sort of thing I'm going for. People have been saying this since I was a kid. A few people at work say this based purely on the emails I write! And in the past several months I've made that concerted effort.
Until recently. I haven't written or drawn a damn thing in the past three weeks because my job is sapping my energy and making me miserable. Not the kind of all-encompassing miserable I mentioned above, but the kind of circumstantial "I specifically hate this" kind of miserable that many people have in regards to their job.
I've been there for the past several months. It's yet another dull, menial, pointless, poorly-paid, dead-end clerical/customer-service office job having to do with a business I have no interest in which is at turns mind-numbingly repetitive or ridiculously stressful. I don't hate anyone who works there, and I don't think anyone hates me, but aside from three or four people, I don't have anything in common with my co-workers. I think I have a bit of a reputation as the "weird one" at work. I'm desperately craving some life of the mind. I ain't getting it, and I'm starting to dread going to work.
So the point I'm labouring towards is this: I need to find a job that I either like or at least find tolerable, and it has to be the sort of thing that allows me the spare time to pursue my interests without impinging on them. I actually suck at the sort of job I've had for the past few years, and something in a different vein would be much appreciated. I wish I could be more specific than that, but if I could, I wouldn't have asked this question.
I haven't been taking art/writing seriously for very long, so I don't know if I could get work based only on that...
I live in a major North American urban centre, if that makes any difference.
I've set up this throwaway account if you'd like to contact/ask me something: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can't thank you enough for wading through my question!