Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where I've Been (Part 2)

(Picking up where I left off, Saturday posts will likely not be the norm.)

My first real job was managing a hobby shop. I'd always been an avid gamer, D&D, board games, all the geek pursuits were pretty much mastered in college. Primary games buyer and store manager was a dead-end job, but damned if it wasn't a good time. I took advantage of the hours and did improv comedy, acting on stage and screen (commercials, whatnot), singing, joined up with a team of paranormal investigators and even did an improv drag rock musical.

When the hobby shop shut down, I was sad, but I knew I'd never leave, even though there was no where to go and I wasn't making much. I'd started my own convention company, running one of the largest gaming conventions in the Chicago area, but I kinda knew that the end of the hobby shop was the end of that, too. I got a job selling video games about the time I met the woman who is now my wife, and left that when they stubbornly refused to give me my own store.

I learned something else important when I took the next job, still struggling as an actor/comedian and not making it. My new career was at a diamond engagement jewelry store, I supervised a team, ran an office, and within a few months, despised what I was doing. It got to the point where having no job was better than continuing on in that one, so I quit. I learned that I have to believe in what I'm doing. Making money isn't enough.

After a period of unemployment, I got the job working with troubled kids in a therapeutic day high school. I was damned good at it, drawing from my other interesting careers and talents, learning how to do crisis intervention and doing something that mattered. Part teacher, part therapist, part babysitter, part security guard, the job was consistently different and interesting and it paid the bills. At least it did, until I was called into that office.

I've done a hell of a lot of interesting things, one thing in common. I never made much money.
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Chris said...

Glad to see people who care more about what they enjoy doing more than how much they make. Although it's quite a bit of a sacrifice in this century, I'm proud I'm not the only one in this situation. Hope everything goes well with you and your wife!

Noock said...

Yeah Chris said it well, nice to see someone thinking more than just money. You've done hell a lot of jobs and got nice life experience

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