“Get a real JOB!”
I’m sure you heard this somewhere whether it’s towards you or someone else. Irritating phrase isn’t it? Get a real job? What’s a real job? When I hear the phrase, this is what I actually hear:
“Go work for someone to be miserable like the rest of us.”
“Stop being creative. Only the lucky and the rich can afford to be creative.”
Bonus credit to “You need something consistent, and that can pay the bills. Working X place for Y hours Z time(s) a week isn’t cutting it.”
I never understood the concept behind the “real job” part of the phrase. How many people have tried to work for something/someone, and couldn’t get accepted? How many people were cheated out of a position because they lacked something someone else had that wasn’t brought to your attention? If you were accepted, do you actually fit into the job itself? Is the position something you want, or something that was available and you had no choice? If you’re unemployed for an extended time frame, why is that? lack of what you want to do in your area? You don’t fit certain criteria for what’s currently available? Someone was first to the position?
Don’t be discouraged; and remember, the people who are “up there” worked just as hard as you did to get where they are today. If someone tries to downplay you because you’re actually looking, trying new ideas out, and/or putting in the work to get recognized, keep going at it. Don’t let someone who can’t encourage you, tell you what you can/t do. They made their choice(s), and don’t let their choice(s) affect who you are.
“You’re too young/old to be doing X and Y”
“You can’t afford do do that”
“There’s no money made in X”
“What makes you different than the other person?”
“Find something that actually works, not something that you think will work”
Those phrases, while they can hold some truth, aren’t something you should take to heart. I, myself heard way worse towards me; yet I’m still putting in the work to prove those who doubt me wrong. If people followed what the naysayers claim:
Tech in general would still be in its primitive state
Napster wouldn’t have paved the way for online music (think iTunes)
Facebook would still be only limited to college students
McDonald’s wouldn’t have existed; meaning fast food would be only a dream
Microsoft would be more of an in-house project instead of software millions would use
Harry Potter would be a thought instead of a series of books
Stephen King would still be working as a janitor, living in a trailer
Michael Jordan wouldn’t have been big in the 90s
Esports would be something between friends only instead of a major thing
Google wouldn’t be the dominate search engine it is today
Walmart would have stayed in Arkansas as a local store
The internet wouldn’t be as big, and mainstreamed as it is now
Walt Disney would have quit after being fired from the Missouri Newspaper
Amazon wouldn’t be the #1 online realtor
The video game crash of ’83 would have meant an end to video games in general
The Jungle (a book) wouldn’t have started food/health inspections
So the next time someone says “Get a real job,” answer with “I’m making a real job. One that fits what I’m doing, to prove the haters wrong.” Be prepared to answer questions to where they run out of being negative, and instead actually encourage your pursuits. Answer the questions creatively (and don’t repeat yourself), so the haters will actually run out of negative energy.
If you need the motivation to keep going; remember, I’m writing blogs daily until I’m recognized enough to be picked up so I can get paid to write. I’m also active in a graphic novel turning video game project. I’m also working with currently no funding from anyone, and having to sell my most prized possessions just to cover food and rent. Even if the goals takes months/years, I’m still grinding daily until that moment comes. Grinding in what you like doing, will get you the right people to help you until everyone involved comes out ahead. If you’re still feeling discouraged, remember the people who are cheering you on to keep going. Do you want to let down the people who actually believe in you?
Remember: direction is more important than speed. Even if you’re only doing a little a day; you’re still farther ahead than the person sitting around doing nothing but complaining.