The great philosopher Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Great words to live by and used as a goal to reach by many.
Do you enjoy what you do every day? Is what you do for a living a career or a job? What’s the difference? Here’s the dictionary’s definition:
Job: a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one's occupation or for an agreed price.
Career: success in a profession, occupation, etc. often requiring special training, followed as one's lifework.
My mother always told me, “Choose an occupation you will enjoy, not just for the money.” Of course when you are young, it’s always the money first and happiness will follow. (Right?) It took me years to discover the great wisdom of my mother’s words.
In my 35 years as an illustrator and graphic designer, my career adventures began searching for the meaning of those words. I loved many career positions I held, especially at the beginning, but not especially near the "end," only to move on to better opportunities.
My last position as a designer for a game and toy company was what I believed to be the ultimate position. In the beginning I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity involved in designing eye-catching graphics for games and even inventing a few toys along the way. I enjoyed working a little overtime, even without compensation (I was salaried). But then the company was bought. The original owners moved out and new processes came in. Overtime hours became "angry hours" due to the lack of respect.
After I left due to COVID and corporate downsizing, I was later hired by KMK Media Group. A small, very friendly, true family-oriented business that has taught me so much more than I ever learned at my past positions, including true appreciation and providing vast experiences.
Yes, after 35 years I have not stopped learning and never will. The boredom of knowing everything or thinking I do would kill me. I try not to put in overtime and am often discouraged to do so but sometimes I just want to. My wife will walk into my home office and say, "Umm that doesn't look like something you are doing for yourself. Is that work?" I will just tell her, "Oh it's just a quick project I need to get into design while the idea is in my mind."
And guess what? I'm not being asked to do it or being paid extra to do it. I am just doing it because I want to.