This is an open letter to my friends and family: Please stop sending me job ideas. Please stop telling me about jobs I could do. Please stop emailing me job listings. Please stop suggesting companies or careers. Please stop giving me options.
I found the job I want. I want to write, and its going pretty well so far. (Not phenomenally well; I’m not getting rich over here. But thanks to the power of low overhead, I’m doing all right.)
I know these suggestions come from a place of concern, and one of confusion. Most of my loved ones don’t know anyone else who’s pursuing an artistic and entrepreneurial career. Those are two things that worry people; they don’t understand the art (and most are too enamored with the starving artist cliche), while entrepreneurship is considered risky. Employers serve to legitimize the work, and an office assures everyone that, yes, his paychecks will keep coming in. (Even though I got laid off from my last job; those aren’t assurances either.) Without those elements, they worry for me.
(And the friends who do know someone like me? They wish me the best, and I know they’ll be there for me if this all goes up in flames, without judgement.)
The truth is, I don’t want these suggestions to end entirely. If someone stumbles across a really cool job idea, I want to hear that. This whole thing could fail, and then I’m going to be scrambling for options. It would be nice to have one or two in my back pocket.
But every time a friend or family member spouts off some ill-considered job idea, something I’m either patently unsuited for, or would lead me down the same whiskey-swilling spiral of anger and frustration as the last job, it feels like a strike against me. It feels like they don’t have faith that I can do this (even though, yes, it’s not entirely up to me).
So, friends and family, I ask for the same consideration you would give someone working at a “real” company in a position they loved. If you happen to find a Grade A, badass, totally-perfect-for-me-in-a-new-way job opportunity, please tell me about it. I probably won’t pursue it, but maybe I will later on. (And professional contacts? Gimme. Though only because I always like to talk to interesting people.) But if it’s just some whatever job I could do?
Save it for when I’m desperate. Now I’ll do my best to make sure it never comes to that.As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).