Monday, February 22, 2016

Do What's Fun - My Career Advice

Art by Henryka Citra - Destination: Imagination
This article is on career advice. I don't know why people are asking me because to be honest, I have one of the most insecure jobs - without steady income. I don't even hide the fact that I still live with my family - one mother, one kitty, and three hens.

But, last week. I've had a number of people I caught up with asking me for career advice. I should've told them - find someone else to ask advice from. But since they persisted in asking, here's what I told all of them.

Do what you love. Let me repeat it: Do what you love. Now, that seems so simple, but I'm meeting all these people who are not doing what they love. One person asked me, how do I know what I love? (Well, that's a separate question for another day, and I even think I know that for myself. I do have some ideas.)

Here's why you need to do what you love. When you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work, and when it doesn't feel like work, you'll put more time into it naturally. You'll also be driven to want to do well. Over time, what happens is that you become better at it than everyone else, and that's when you become marketable. The problem is when you start, it's hard to make money. (Earning a living, while you doing something you love, is also another question.)

Last week, and last month, and last year, a number of people are asking me for favors to do this and that and other things. I decided this week, unless it is necessary, I'm no longer doing anything that's boring. In other words, I'm not doing anything that doesn't interest me.

Now, when you read my own internal rule of law, notice, I put in an exception. I will do things that are necessary - even if I don't enjoy it, such as paying the bills or cleaning up or taking out the trash. Those things are necessary. But if it's not necessary, hey, life is way, way too short to do things I don't enjoy.

For instance, I was watching Snatch, which is a British comedy film on stealing some big diamond. And I thoroughly loved Brad Pitt's performance as an Irish gypsy (he actually lives in a trailer park) that is an unknown bare fisted boxing champion, who only cares for another caravan (or trailer) for his mother. Reminds me of a lawyer who practices in the ghettos, who only wants to be happy with his family.

But halfway through the film, I thought, this is boring me. And instead of watching more of it, I told myself, life's too short to waste on this film. Now some may like the film, but I found it boring at one point. So, I did what I never did. I just stopped the film. Took out the DVD. And did something more interesting.

And the same with books. We have way too many books that chatter way too much. I picked one up the other day, and after the first chapter, I thought, Eh. I read the second chapter and thought: This is boring. So, I tossed it in the corner and stopped reading it. And it felt good to do that. So, instead, I went for a 6 mile run, and that made me feel better.

So, some of you might say, well I have to work, and I can't just not do things. I'd disagree. But, fine. On your free time, make sure you only do what you love to do, unless it's necessary. That was my career advice to everyone last week.

Hope that helps. 

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