How to Balance your Day Job and your Passion Project
Hi friends! I’m Alice and I am the creator of Alice in Wondrland (AIW). I am also a Light worker (which means I provide Shamanic Reiki energy healing, intuitive coaching, meditation circles, and yoga teachings soon enough), and also have a day job as an Executive Assistant for a C suite at an e-commerce company. Occasionally, I will do some event and wedding planning consulting. Plus! I have a boyfriend, fur animals, and I financially support my family too. There can be a lot to juggle all at once but I honestly think, we can all do it. Most of us do.
I feel like the biggest struggle for me was to not base my self worth on my day job, my day job is definitely a place where I spend a lot of my time but it does not define me in who I am. I think you find a balance when you learn that you don’t have to be 100% passionate about your day job. I think it’s okay to accept that your day job isn’t always going to be this magical place that you love waking up to. You’ll have good days, and you’ll have bad days, and every once in a while, you’ll find that you’re passionate about a certain part of your job. For me, yes, I have a stressful day job in as the only Executive Assistant to almost 7 executives. Do I always love it? No. But you know what I DO love? Fixing problems. I love helping people get out of messes, so I focus on the aspect of the job that I like, and that’s what helps me get through the day. And my passions? I still pursue my passions, I just don’t necessarily always go after them while at work. There’s no one stopping you from going after your passions during your free time, and if you wait until you can perfectly align your passions and making a decent living, you may end up waiting forever.
Thus, here are my ways with how I manage to balance it all… I’m not perfect and this is a constant balancing practice!
ACCEPT THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION
Face the reality of the situation - This is a normal step on the pathway to supporting your passion project (perhaps on the way of having your own business) while having insurance too! I personally think this is an important foundation if you approach it the right way. Turns out you CAN build your own dream and also help someone else build theirs too.
ORGANIZE YOUR TIME
I always like to say that time is only a construct of your reality. Thus, take advantage of your time wisely! Technology is your friend. Make, design, take photos and write using your free time around work or at the weekend. Whether on your phone, google calendar, or in a physical notebook, to-do lists and time plans are an excellent way to break down the day, week, or month into manageable sections. The overwhelming feeling of success when it’s time to cross something off a list is its own reward. A daily plan split into pre-work, lunch break and post-work categories will help you to be realistic about how much you can get done. The joy of this is that often you can do way more than you think is possible in a short space of time. Be realistic and keep running lists for the year to keep your goals in sight too.
SELF CARE DAILY
Take the weekend off, sleep in, take photos, read and remember that as a creative person, everything that you do is connected to your craft. Never feel bad for feeling fragile, overwhelmed or needing time out to take care of yourself. Sometimes a balance is just impossible to achieve and whether or not it seems like everyone else is managing to nail it, you must focus on what you know to be reasonably manageable. Never sacrifice the quality of your work or all-important attendance at your job for your passion or vice versa. Balance is essential and tears, anxiety and burn-out are never, ever worth it.
If you’ve promised a client you’d have something finalized but suddenly need to extend your deadline, don’t panic. Perhaps you’re faced with a personal emergency or you misjudged your ability to complete the project. Communicating clearly is the best thing you can do in a crisis and will mean no bridges are burnt. Good email etiquette can save you as can an earnest phone call so if you think you’ll need more time, say so early on to make time for a solution. Always check in regularly with those you’re working with to let them know where you’re at.
BE TRUE TO YOU
Sometimes we do certain things because we think we should do them—because they’re trendy, because our friends are doing them, or because we have a degree or specific training in something. Ignore all that noise, and instead listen for the voice nudging you in a certain direction, rather than focusing on what you think you should be doing. It’s okay to do things that are outside our box or other peoples’ boxes. It’s okay to try something wacky or weird or offbeat because it piques your interest. Remember: Self-actualization doesn’t come from people-pleasing, it comes from being you, which sometimes first requires finding you.
All in all, I am not ashamed to say that I am working my day job as it gives me financial security to be able to pursue my passion project creatively and by not worrying about it. At this point in my life, I’m one of those compromisers, and at the moment, I’m totally okay with that. I go to work, do a good job, and when I get home, I pursue my other interests. Sure, it’s exhausting sometimes, basically working multiple jobs as a part-time blogger, but it gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction, and can’t picture a life where blogging isn’t a part of it.
And, if you are at that point where you are moonlighting it as much as I am and am deciding that your dreams are not worth the struggle. That’s totally acceptable, do you. Completely. We know ourselves best, and we are the drivers of our own lives. We’re willing to fight for our dreams when we know they’re worth it, but if they’re not worth it anymore, then I have to think it’s actually quite smarter to give up on them and put them to rest. Who knows? Maybe it’s not the right time in our life to go after that particular dream. Maybe we can pursue it later? But if you’re not feeling it anymore, it’s better to put your time into something else that you do believe is worth it.