Getting fired may be one of the best career moves you’ve ever made. That’s what’s been on my mind today, and I mean it. Think about it this way: How many of you truly love your jobs?
Is what you’re doing right now what you feel you were put on this Earth to do? Are you passionate about it?
I’ll be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t fired from a job as someone else’s employee. That sounds like a horrible thing to admit, right? Well it’s true, and if I did quit I was probably about to be fired anyway. Sometimes it was a layoff, or the company went out of business, or more often the fact that I just wasn’t the kind of employee the higher-ups wanted. The cosmic truth of it is, and has always been, that I was never meant to work at those places. My heart was never in it! The closest I ever came was when I worked in advertising. Being able to create something new every day (and shoot for the agency) really helped to alleviate the itch to do my own thing. Still not enough to stay though.
The Onion put out an article a few days ago called “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.” Of course being The Onion the article is tongue-in-cheek, but it has a very valid point. I encourage you to go read the whole thing at the link I provided, but in case you don’t here’s my favorite part:
Say, for example, that your passion is painting. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy a canvas and some painting supplies! Go sign up for art classes! And when you get so overwhelmed with your job and your personal life that you barely have enough time to see your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife, let alone do anything else, go ahead and skip classes for a few weeks. Then let those paint brushes sit in your room untouched for six months because a major work project came up and you had a bunch of weddings to go to and your kid got sick and money is tighter than you thought it would be and you have to work overtime. And then finally pick those brushes back up again only to realize you’re so rusty that you begin to question whether this was all a giant waste of time, whether you even want to paint anymore, and whether this was just some sort of immature little fantasy you had as a kid and that maybe it’s finally time to grow the fuck up, let painting go, and join the real world because, let’s face it, not everyone gets to live out their dreams.
I’m not saying that what I did in my life so many years ago is the approach for everyone. In fact, deciding to go back to being a photographer full-time was one of the most brutal and humbling decisions I’ve ever made. I didn’t give myself a “Plan B,” back then I ate mostly ramen for something close to 6 months before things improved. Yet there isn’t a doubt in my mind that it was the right choice.
I guess what I’m getting at is this: If you aren’t in love with what you do for a living at least 80% of the time…you’re not in the right spot. Maybe it’s time to remember what you’re passionate about.
See you tomorrow,