How to Enjoy Your Day Job

I’m an artist.

I love creating. I love those who create. I love the whole vibe from creative people.

This past weekend I got to do 24 Hour Plays, where a play is cast, written and performed all the course of 24 hours. Awesome and challenging. It was such a thrill to experience that creativity explosion with other writers, actors and directors (here’s my 24 Hour Play experience from last year).

On Monday, it was back to my day job which isn’t always creative. Like most day jobs, there’s a lot of redundancy, e-mailing, spreadsheets, meetings and numbers.

But…

I love my day job.

  • I love that my employers know I’m a creative person and allow me to do creative things that benefit the company.
  • I love that my day job doesn’t rule my life–it simply borrows me for 1/3 of my Mondays thru Fridays.
  • I love that my day job fuels my creative projects like this blog or writing this book to help other creative people.
  • I love that my day job is teaching me things about business that I wouldn’t know otherwise.
Dollarman Thumbs His Nose
Image Credit: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

Artists with day jobs have two choices: embrace or resent. It’s a terrible existence to spend 40+ hours per week living in resentment–why not embrace and enjoy your day job!

How to Enjoy Your Day Job

A few ways you can change your day job mindset…

Make a List

Make a list of four or five reasons you are thankful for your day job, just like the list above. Begin every sentence with “I love that my day job…”

Use it As Fuel

Cars don’t run without gas and dreams don’t get accomplished without support. A day job is support to your creative dreams. Realizing that your day job fuels your creative projects and dreams gives purpose to the spreadsheets and meetings.

Talk to Your Employer

Does your employer know what your creative gifts and talents are? If not, let them know! You might be surprised how many c-level executives are looking for creative solutions to problems that you might have answers to. As an example, I’ve gone from sales rep to writing, casting and directing commercials for my company, all because I let my employer know what my gifts were. So grateful.

Be Grateful

I got up at 5:00 AM today to write this post and get ready for my day job that starts at 8:00 AM. I’m grateful. I’m so thankful that I have a great day job. I’m thankful that I can get up early. That I can do something creative before delving into the sales department. Grateful that I can support my family and still be creative.

Question: How do you enjoy your day job as a creative person?

email

Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • What a refreshing and timely post. 40+ hours is far too much time to waste on resentment every week!

    As an associate editor, I enjoy the fact that I get paid to practice my skills and refine my skill set, which then enables me to produce better work both at my job and in my spare time. It’s amazing how a slight shift in perspective can totally alter your outlook and your day. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!

    • Being paid to hone your skills is stellar! Nice gig!

      Hope your book continues to do well Todd. I loved it and will definitely be reading your next one.

  • Andy Black

    The past three weeks have been hell for me at my day job. I’m a graphic designer and I have been working on my agency’s annual report. most designers would kill to get the annual report, a project that usually gives them the opportunity to really push the envelope and to be creative. not so in the federal government or at least in my agency. I started with a really nice product back in August. In october they came back and told me to strip out all of the photos, bright colors, pull quotes and anything else that hinted at design. They wanted just two columns of text in black and blue (which is how I was starting to feel after working so hard to give them something more inventive). From there it was down hill. The client kept making demands that made the report uglier and less user friendly.

    I have worked for nearly 30 years at this agency so obviously there are things I love about my day job or I wouldn’t have stayed. But just maybe this week isn’t a good one to ask me that question…

    • That IS painful Andy.

      When you pour into something and people just don’t ‘get it.’ Ugh… I feel your pain.

      I suppose that’s all part of it. Even when we do our other creative work, there’s often that tension.