One of the things that has gotten me hung up from time to time as I casually look for work that I would find more fulfilling and interesting is the notion of the One Perfect Job. I guess I figured I would just stumble into something at some point that had everything I was looking for, I would magically get hired, and suddenly I’d reach employment nirvana.
I no longer have the expectation that this will happen. When you want to be a creator of things for a living, you have to realize that the world and everyone in it makes subjective assessments of your work (and everyone else’s). Because of that, success is going to require hard work and perseverance for sure, but also a certain degree of good fortune and meeting the right people at the right time. It might mean that you have to toil thanklessly on a series of small projects, or hold down a variety of part-time jobs, peddling your creative wares and diligently searching for the right opportunity. You’re not going to get hit by a silver bullet that will suddenly make your professional life everything you dreamed; you’ll have to scrounge around the grass at the shooting range, picking up stray brass and reloading those shells yourself.
I have a couple gigs on the side that generate a very small amount of extra cash, but with a little more effort, maybe they could be more fruitful. Add some writing (and possibly teaching) to that, and maybe I won’t end up with One Perfect Job, but just One Perfectly Satisfying Livelihood.