ok so let’s talk a bit about jobs vs passion. my last fulltime job was at a big game development studio; the kind of job you’re (supposedly) passionate about. most of my colleagues adored the games we made, and so they didn’t care that the company had a major diversity problem, that our salaries were below average, that we didn’t get overtime compensation yet stayed ‘til 11PM more often than what’s healthy, and that the company promoted an unhealthy alcohol culture. because we were passionate. this was the kind of job you grow up dreaming about; don’t go throwing it away because some colleagues are harrassing you or because you get no recognition for your efforts!
for more than a year I was tired. stressed. in constant pain. my anxiety was through the roof. I worked on these “dream projects” and I felt dead inside.
when I quit that job I started freelancing as a writer. I got some really good jobs. I also got a bunch of small-time, low-paid, “hey at least your name is on it so isn’t it enough to pay 10$ for this text?” kind of jobs.
with the typical millenial housing situation of an apartment that I could barely afford on a fulltime pay and a constant stream of job offers that were underpaid I spent four months doing what I love, while constantly overwhelmed by stress. my insomnia got really bad, and when I managed to fall asleep I would dream about my bank balance. I would dream of losing whatever stability I had left in my life, simply because I couldn’t afford a “normal adult life”.
and so, today I got a job. it’s a fairly standard QA job at a medium sized game development studio. unlike any other game companies I’ve been at they offer humane working conditions. they don’t expect me to show up too early and stay too late because I’m passionate. the hours are nine to five, and they disapprove of overtime. the pay is slightly above average, and I get health benefits. I’ve been through several interviews, and at no point has someone tried to belittle my career or tried to convince me to work for less than I’m worth.
for the first time in many years of my career, I’m happy. I’m at ease. I applied for this job because I wanted to get away from the passionate part of the industry. I wanted a job where I could go home at five and dedicate my freetime to my own writing projects. I wanted to work at a place that didn’t eat my heart and soul and energy as I contributed to projects that wouldn’t even bear my name in the end credits.
so what I’m trying to say is that there’s nothing wrong with having a “normal” job. you’re not giving up on your dreams if you take a job outside your main interests. if it offers stability in your life, it’s enough.