Finding Joy in Your Side Hustle
Updated: Jul 7
Alternatively Titled: Life Lessons from a Serial Day Job Nomad
As an actress, working a day job or having multiple side hustles goes with the territory. Whether you are struggling to find purpose in your full time big girl/ big boy career or struggling with the day jobs that serve as "means to an end", joy can be found!
1. View Your Job as a "Get To"
Remember a time when you were searching for a job or unable to work. Perhaps,
say, a time when a global pandemic swept over the Earth. Did you miss working? Work gives you purpose and structure in your day.
Try to frame the opportunity to work as a "get to" instead of a "have to." Acknowledge what it took to be hired : the job search, the submission, the interview, being in the right place at the right time, etc. You already did the hard part, now you just get to show up and show how capable you are of putting out good work!
2. Keep Track of The Positives
Too much precious time is spent working to not offer you some positive benefits.
For example, I work in a coffee shop. I LOVE getting to know our regulars and building rapport with them. I LOVE offering an exhausted mom a satisfying energy boost. I LOVE providing a clean space for friends to catch up. What do you love about your job? Even if this is not the end goal, ask yourself the question: what will you miss when you no longer work this job?
"I may have not reached where I am striving to be,
but I am grateful that money is still flowing to me
as I make my way there."
Keep a positive affirmation for what your job provides financially. Every grocery stop, night on the town, Amazon order, and savings investment is an opportunity to say THANK YOU to the job that gave you that chance. And if your job provides you with more, then it's all just cherries on top!
3. Asses What You Need From Your Job
There are many needs that job can fulfill: financial, social, structural, creative, etc. Sometimes, a side job only serves the purpose of providing income. Is that enough? If you believe that you truly need a job that offers you more than financial gain, continue to give thanks for your current job, while you keep your eye out for something else. BUT know that the grass will always be greener on the other side unless you seek presence, positivity, and contentment daily.
4. What does your current job teach you about yourself?
Even if your current job is not the epitome of your life's desires, consider that it may be serving you in unexpected ways. You are learning important lessons about what matters to you, what fulfills you, and where your gifts lie (and vice-versa). Pay special attention to what is rewarding during your job . . . and what is soul sucking. If this is a side hustle, you know it is temporary, but it is going to inform your next side hustle. It could even inspire a change of career or an alternate pathway. I now know from my coffee house job that I need a job that allows me to tangibly create a positive experience for others- giving me the satisfaction that I made another's day better. I also now know that I desire to ultimately have a job that allows for more leadership and creative independence.
5. Jobs Can Be Detours in the Right Direction
When you cannot clearly see how a
job is helping you on your path to achieving your dreams, goals, and desires, trust and affirm that there is a higher purpose at work.
You never know how a seemingly irrelevant side job may impact your future. Did you know that actress Jenna Fischer worked as an office secretary for years before being cast as Pam in "The Office"? She cites the job experience as helping her develop Pam's character.
Along the way, you may discover new interests that inform your next step. You might meet a stranger that becomes a vital point of your network. The right direction is inevitable, and detours are necessary to find your way!
As a religious person, I pray that God uses my unique gifts as an instrument of his peace. I pray that he humbles me to accept where he has placed me. I pray that love guides my actions and not fear or pride. I ask for what I desire in the future, and I show up for what my daily bread is at present. And while that sounds good and lovely, it is a constant struggle with my ego and my doubt to bring myself back to the Word and back to the Truth. But- ah- the peace to be found there.
6. When It's Time to Move On
Listen, I know a thing or two about moving on from a day job. Just ask my 2019 I-9. I worked seven jobs in one year. As you can imagine, filing my taxes this year was a fun experience. Some of the jobs I held were seasonal, some of them had very poor working conditions, and some of them I would have maintained had I not moved states. Others, however, I bailed on because I felt enormous discontent. As an artist, supporting yourself financially is just as important as supporting yourself emotionally. If you dread waking up and going to work on a consistent basis, you deserve better. Move on, friend!
What is the best part of your job?
What has your job taught you about yourself?
How has a past day job positively influenced the person you are today?
Thanks for engaging with this mindfully creative community!