As a teenager, I considered every career possibility for myself, from joining the CIA to starting a coffee shop on the coast of Mendocino (for someone who can’t drink coffee, that probably wasn’t the best plan). But early on, I chose graphic design and dove into learning everything I could about it.
I was lucky to pick the right path because I love what I do. Even though I’ve worked in this industry for 8 years, I can’t wait to start each day. Sure, I’ve had bad clients, frustrating projects, and failed expectations. Somehow I still love what I do.
Many entrepreneurs or startup conferences love to chant the “do what you love” mantra, encouraging the masses to pursue their dreams. But what many don’t realize is that there is a difference between dreams and passion.
I spent a time pursuing what I thought was my dream when I quit web design to become a video game designer. It was a lot of fun and allowed me to express myself creatively in ways I was not able to with graphic design. I created a few games, failed at many more, and collaborated with awesome developers. It was strangely glamorous (in a nerdy, very poor kind of a way) and really fun.
But for me, it’s not my true passion.
Since returning to the creative industry, I have learned a lot about myself and what it takes to pursue your dreams. Although video games were fun, I didn’t feel fulfilled. Helping people, on the other hand, with the abilities I have is my passion.
I love what I do because I love learning about my clients and trying to build the best product for them. I love listening to them and trying to play Sherlock to figure out exactly what they mean. I love the trust that I work hard to earn. I love knowing that I can confidently take someone’s vague ideas that they have been frustrated with and turning it into tangible, understandable, usable design.
But it all boils down to the fact that I am helping people and companies through talents that I am thankful to have.
We can’t always pursue the exciting hobbies as careers and avoid the less glamorous jobs like working in waste equipment manufacturing (no offense, waste equipment manufacturing companies). But even in the most “boring” of companies, you can find the things that fulfill your passions. Doing the things you love might lose their sparkle, especially when you are presented with challenges. But fulfilling the passions you have will fuel you through each day, making the hard times more bearable and the good times euphoric.