Please Stop Telling Me To Quit My Day Job To ‘Follow My Dreams’

Sam Landreth
Sam Landreth

Like you, I love the internet and its ever-growing self-help section. But I’m so bored of seeing quotes that say, “Quit your job,” “Follow your dreams,” and “Do what you love!”

Firstly, great advice. Really life-changing stuff. I’ll hand in my notice tomorrow. Are you going to pay for my apartment/bills/food/life, too?

Secondly, have you ever thought that I might actually enjoy my day job? That it might give me purpose and help me become better at my side hustles? That I enjoy the human interaction and, heaven forbid, the routine?

I was created to create, that much is true. But I’m also here to learn from people far more than experienced than I am. From office politics. From the art of being a woman in the world of work.

I’m not ruling out the possibility of moving to Thailand to live out my nomadic fantasies. I’m simply saying not now. Not before I’ve made my mark. Not before I’ve achieved something I can be proud of.

Interestingly, a day job has become somewhat of a dirty little secret in the creative world. But day jobs have been the foundation for so many people’s wildest dreams. The base from which people can save some money, start a “fuck off fund,” and build their lives.

Where’s the shame in that? Having an interesting life and having a day job aren’t mutually exclusive things. It’s possible to have both. You can have both.

Your existence isn’t any less interesting than the person on Instagram with the perfect tan, drinking from a coconut. Or the business owner working remotely from a beach in Bali.

Don’t get me wrong, the stories of those who have made it on their own are inspiring and deserve to be applauded. But for the vast majority people, they’re far from reality. We need more voices, perspectives and opinions from all kinds of creative people.

Instead of sharing quotes like, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” why don’t we start celebrating those who are doing the best they can with what they currently have?

For millennials, it almost feels like we have to be exploring South East Asia or backpacking through Bolivia, otherwise we’re doing it wrong. But every one of our journeys is different, complicated, and entirely our own.

For me, combining the challenge of a day job with my creative endeavors keeps me happy, paid, and somewhat sane. I like the balance. I like how my job allows my creative pursuits to be less about finances, and more about fun. And I value the weekend because I feel like I’ve earned it.

Sure, I sometimes imagine everything I could do if I had more time. But I also remember what it was like to have all the time in the world and absolutely no money.

Maybe one day I’ll run away to an ashram and practice Ashtanga yoga for a year. Maybe I’ll quit the ‘corporate life’ and volunteer at an avant-garde art gallery. Maybe I’ll save some money and take a break for a while. But until then, I’m learning about myself and earning in the process.

And I’m sorry Internet, but that’s quite alright by me. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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