Is Your Workplace Socially Toxic?

I’m an introvert, which means I gain energy from being alone and I exert energy whenever I’m around people, especially large groups.  This doesn’t mean that I hate being around people—in fact, a lot of people who know me will tell you that I’m at my most boisterous when I’m at parties or giving speeches. This relates to work (specifically Day Job work) in that … Continue reading Is Your Workplace Socially Toxic? »

Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part III

So this is the end of my three-part series spelling out my entire work history.  In Part 1 I covered my early years learning about work, and in Part 2 I moved on to post-college struggles to both scrounge up some money and get out of New Hampshire.   Goat and Horse Farm Worker Pay: $20/feeding (about 1-1.5 hours) I got back from Japan with … Continue reading Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part III »

Unpaid Overtime is Not Cool (and What You Can Do About It)

There’s a lot of things I hate (rude people, traffic jams, being called “buddy” in conversation), but not getting paid for the work I’ve done takes the top slot.  This isn’t because I’ve been stiffed on a paycheck, but because I’ve had jobs where I had to face off against my arch nemesis unpaid overtime. Check out this graph from the Economic Policy Institute showing … Continue reading Unpaid Overtime is Not Cool (and What You Can Do About It) »

Office Day Jobs vs. Dirty Day Jobs: Which Work Better?

I went in for a haircut the other day and was about to take a seat when the barber asked me to wait until he’d swept up.  He got a broom from the corner, swept up all the hair clumps from around the haircutting chair, then bent over and scooped them into a trash bucket all by himself. Sweep, sweep, sweep. I used to work … Continue reading Office Day Jobs vs. Dirty Day Jobs: Which Work Better? »

Working for Your Passion vs. Working for Your Weekends: The Pros and Cons

As far as I can figure, there are two ways to think about the work-life balance: In the first model, people spend most of their working time (or at least as much time as possible) doing work that’s meaningful to them.  That work can be creating something powerful or unique, doing something to better the community or the world, or simply providing a service that … Continue reading Working for Your Passion vs. Working for Your Weekends: The Pros and Cons »

Paul Hanson Clark Interview Part II: Cookies, Capitalist Voodoo, and the Work-Art Balance

This is Part 2 of my interview with poet, artist, and part-time cookiemaker Paul Hanson Clark, so you can check out Part 1 here.   But I Also Have a Day Job: So to make your life work and still do your art, you have to go to your web editing job during the day and make the doughs in the afternoon. Paul Hanson Clark: … Continue reading Paul Hanson Clark Interview Part II: Cookies, Capitalist Voodoo, and the Work-Art Balance »

6 Paths Creative People Take to Earn Money

So back in my Day Job Basics Guide I wrote about the difference between Day Jobs and Real Jobs, but in real life the spectrum’s a bit more complicated.  I’m a big fan of being honest with yourself about how your job fulfills your goals and passions, since knowing one way or the other helps you organize your goals and make positive changes. Ways that … Continue reading 6 Paths Creative People Take to Earn Money »

How Japanese Honne and Tatemae Separate Work and Home Life, and Why You Should Too

I taught English lessons at a for-profit Japanese eikaiwa (conversation school) in Yamanashi Prefecture from 2009 to 2011, and one of the things that most struck me about the Japanese work environment was how easily the Japanese separate their work lives from their home lives.  There’s a lot of cultural factors at work here, but the one people explained to me most often was the … Continue reading How Japanese Honne and Tatemae Separate Work and Home Life, and Why You Should Too »

Day Job Basics #5: The Real Reason to Have a Day Job

So in Parts 1 through 4 I went through what makes a Day Job different from a Real Job, the philosophies involved with working that Day Job, and how to find which Day Job best fits your current goals.  I talked about money, time, and handling your energy, but there’s one really, really important thing left. Working a Day Job serves absolutely no purpose if … Continue reading Day Job Basics #5: The Real Reason to Have a Day Job »

Day Job Basics #4: Your Ideal Day Job

So like I talked about in Part 3, there are all different kinds of Day Jobs, and they all place different demands on your time, energy, and sanity levels.  You might still be on the hunt for a bill-paying Day Job, you might have what you thought was a Real Job until you decided to make that mental switch to the dishwashing philosophy I talked … Continue reading Day Job Basics #4: Your Ideal Day Job »

Day Job Basics #3: Slacking vs. Productivity

Right now you must be thinking, “So Ian, if a Day Job is just a way to fuel my creative endeavors, that means I should do the absolute minimum of work I possibly can while I’m there as long as I get paid, right?” Sorry bro, that shit don’t fly. Remember in Part 2 where I compared working a Day Job to doing your dishes?  … Continue reading Day Job Basics #3: Slacking vs. Productivity »