When I submitted the final, final edits for the second edition of WordPress For Dummies today – I breathed a tremendously huge sigh of relief. There is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment to carry you through to the next day. This was a big project – – just as it was the first time around, and having it finished, finally not only lifts a great big weight off the ol’ shoulders…but it made me reflect a bit. As I’m uploading the last and final files..I could feel myself physically relax. I sat back and thought – – I really do love what I do.
I’ve held several jobs in my lifetime. Some I liked, some I didn’t. Jobs like:
- McDonalds (would you like fries with that? yea, that was me)
- Disc Jockey for a local, polka radio station (yep. Polka)
- Lead singer in a local R&B band
- Waitress at a local greasy spoon
- Bartender at a local night club… a local bowling alley..and a local 5-star restaurant – – simultaneously!
- Secretary…receptionist…data entry clerk
- Community organizer for the local Chamber of Commerce
- Nursing Assistant
- Registered Nurse (my longest… that career spanned 10 years, or so)
- Web and graphic designer and web host (current)
- Author (also current)
Some of those jobs were held out of neccessity. I didn’t really like them – but they paid the bills, so I tolerated them.
Some of those jobs were stepping stones to other jobs (nursing assistant – to – registered nurse, for example).
Growing up, I was always told to do what I love. Find something you’re good at and make a living out of it.. you’ll be happier. Unfortunately, starting out as a young adult – – the job that I loved didn’t pay the bills (the R&B singer gig). So I had to move on to a job that DID pay the bills . . leaving me absolutely NO time to do the job that I love.
At the age of 24, I graduated from nursing school with a degree in nursing and sat for the board exams to obtain my Registered Nurse licensure. I was pretty much set for life in an industry that paid well and offered a great deal of job security. I pretty much thought I would be a nurse until the day I retire.
Until I started tinkering around with graphic design and CSS and began to dabble in code. I found a great hobby that allowed me to de-stress and blow off steam after long, hard days of work in the hospital. It was a creative outlet that I soon began to realize was soothing the savage beast. Design satisfied the creative side of me… something I had lost when I walked away from music, so many years ago. It would be many years before I began to make a few bucks at it – – and several more years before I could make a living from it.
Although, I never once thought I would make a living with it – – always assuming that nursing would be where I would stay for my entire working life. Nursing was one of those ok jobs. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was . . . fine. I was good at it – – excelled in it, really – and took pride in that fact. But I wasn’t doing what I loved… nor was I loving what I did.
I am a true believer that if you do not love what you do – – it shows through at the end of the day. People can start to see it in your work, no matter what it is. For me? I didn’t want to get to that point in nursing – – nothing worse than being cared for by a nurse who doesn’t like what she’s doing, eh?
Today, with my design career and, most recently, book writing gig — I can truly say that I finally love what I do.. and am doing what I love. I make a decent living at it, and I’m very thankful for that….and grateful that I don’t have to focus my attentions and time on other side jobs in order to make ends meet, like I used to. I can really focus on what I enjoy doing and what I’m good at.
Are you doing what you love…and loving what you do? If not – are you working towards that end? It’s not an easy thing, no doubt. First priorities are putting food on the table and paying those bills – which, like me, forced you into jobs that you don’t really like – – but become a necessary evil as a means to and end. When I opted to quit my nursing career to pursue design, I really had to spend a lot of time to take a real, long hard look at where I was at, and where I wanted to be. If the day comes that I’m no longer happy with design — I will take a similar look and, hopefully, will be able to make changes where I can pursue that lofty goal of loving what I do..and doing what I love.
For me, it took a great deal of time, struggle, sleepless nights and endless days . . but I got there. And yet, I still wonder if I’ll be doing the same thing next year? If I’m lucky enough, I will be.
And on that note – I shall finally sleep. ‘Nite!