Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Love My Day Job

For over 12 years I've felt like the square peg in the round hole of corporate America.  My career in telecom has definitely had its ups and downs . The first few years, I tried my hardest to fit in and get ahead but something never felt quite right.  When I started taking acting classes, I finally discovered why.  I just didn't belong there. 

From that moment on, my day job lost a part of me.  The part that cared about fitting in and getting ahead.  My emotional energy was invested somewhere else.  Don't get me wrong, I've always done well in my corporate job, my pride won't allow me to be an underperformer.  But now I'm satisfied to "blend in" a little more and just do what I need to do.

But, for what it's worth, I've learned and benefitted a lot from my job experience.  I don't plan on leaving anytime soon, unless they ask me to or I book the most fabulous steady acting job that requires me to. 

On the occasional days that I do get the day job blues, I remind myself of all that it's taught me and allows me to do. 

1.  I get to work from home. - This is quite possibly the BEST perk of all.  After being with the company for 12 years, I have the flexibility and have earned the trust to work from my home office.  This is an incredible privilege and for that fact, I respect it.  Sure, I run out to auditions, but for the most part, they are easily accommodated by a flexible lunch hour.  Because I'm not working in a traditional office, I have the advantage of working very early in the morning or late in the evening if I ever need to make up any time. 

2.  It pays well.  - The square peg (creative type) has discovered a niche in the round hole (engineering) that satisfies the analytical side of my brain and pays the bills.  Engineer and actress don't normally get mentioned in the same sentence, except when I'm meeting new people and telling them what I do!   

3.  I've learned what "healthy" work environments look like.  - Let's face it, the entertainment industry isn't exactly the poster child for a healthy work environment.  I've seen directors cuss out actors on set, agents send demeaning e-mails to their talent, casting directors treat us like dirt beneath their feet.  I have no tolerance for any of that because it doesn't happen in my day job.  I've never been treated with anything less than the utmost respect by my management and peers.  And that's the way it should be.  Period.

So while it would be nice to be living the life of a working actress and not worrying about where my next job is coming from, I'm perfectly satisfied to be living the life of a "working as an engineer" actress and knowing I have a paycheck every two weeks.  I still get to scratch my itch as a performer and progress in my acting career.  But there's a lot less risk involved. 

Next time you start hating your day job, count your blessings for what it allows you to do.  I do every day. 


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