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Don't Make A Career Out Of It

I'm traveling this week and so have little blogging time, but I wanted to toss this off. Career guides talk a great deal about monetizing what you love, taking your hobbies and turning them into jobs. I don't think this is deliberately bad advice — it's at least well-meaning, for the most part — but in this moment and time and space it translates into very, very bad advice indeed.

The single most compelling reason not to do this is simple: Society at large is making it harder than ever not to turn everything into work, because it's harder than ever to make ends meet in general. Careers devolve into chains of gigs, and so one's hobbies because natural fodder for being gig-ified.

It's hard not to feel guilty for doing nothing, or not trying to make something "pay off". But if the doing of the thing is not its own payoff, it will never be worth it. Money does not buy back the joy of the thing itself. It might be able to buy you better circumstances under which to do the thing, but the number of people who can do the thing itself to win big that way is so vanishingly small I cannot help but be suspicious of those who hold it up as an ideal to follow.

After flipping over this particular rock, it's clear to me this has nothing to do with creativity or careers per se, but late capitalism and the nasty habit it has of devouring everything that's not optimized specifically for it.

Tags: creativity  work 

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2019/03/21 18:00.

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