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Sharing what I know about type-based illustration while helping creatives do their best work

Five Mindsets To Have While Working At A Day Job

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Your mindset is the biggest barrier to success. 

“I just don’t have enough time”

“I’m not sure this will work for me”

“He/she is more motivated than I am”

“I will never get out of this job” 

That’s a lot of negative self-talk. 

Our thoughts are powerful. They help us organise our experiences, but sadly they also negatively impact our experiences too. 

Mindset is everything. 

So if you’re stuck in a day job, have no time and don’t know where to start, use these mindsets to begin creating the work you’re only dreaming to create. 

 

1. This Is Temporary

Part of feeling stuck is because we’re having to perform in a particular way, achieve certain results and it’s usually on someone else’s time, not our own. The hours you put in are ridiculous and you’re on the verge of seeing no way out.

Instead of thinking is this my life? Think "this is temporary".

Internalise that for a moment. 

No day job should be your thing (unless of course you’re satisfied with your current role) it should only be temporary role while you work on your craft on the side. 

Think of the day job as a bus stop. 

While you’re waiting to be transported, you can be creating stuff in the meantime until something awesome comes along to drop you at the next stop. 

Let go of feeling trapped—these are your thoughts only. The day job is temporary.

 

2. Never Take Things Personal

Unreasonable requests, comments and feedback can feel like a personal attack. 

Whether that’s annoying customers, an indecisive boss or passive aggressive colleagues—just acknowledge and move on.

Our ego is of less importance right now. Yes it’s going to suck and hurt but letting emotions speak for you isn’t the best solution.

You should be saving your most important energy for things that actually matter to you.

Being right or defending yourself are not. 

I love the phrase “kill them with kindness” because that’s a sure way to diffuse a situation. Smile at that customer who’s being a prick or over-deliver on that design request.

Remember, you’re not responsible for other people’s comments. You can either feed them, or deflect them. So slap on some Wonder Woman-type-armour and deflect those negative vibes—then decide what’s important: 

  • Your pride
  • Your future self

 

3. Show Gratitude Often

Feel grateful that you get to do this work, rather than doing work you have to do. 

It’s about perspective at this point. 

You’re actually in the best position to start a project you’re passionate about because damn, we have the internet with all the resources at our fingertips. Plus, you have a day job that’s paying your bills? There’s a lot to be thankful for here. 

Cultivate gratitude by being thankful for the position you’re in.

This will help shrink any feeling of resentment so that you have the right energy to work after day job hours.    

A thank you goes a long way. 

 

4. Embrace Your Mistakes and Failures

You’re going to go through shit.

Don’t worry about how you will look when you make a mistake or what it will mean. Again, a manager may yell at you so go back to never taking things personal. The manager could be having a crap day and that’s not your fault. 

Your reaction to a mistake is what separates the professional from the amateur. 

Instead, frame bad experiences in a positive light. Challenge yourself, continue growing and push forward.

You didn’t stop when you lost your Pokemon battle against a gym leader, did you? 

 

5. Win With Patience

Good things take time. 

I think the question that stops us in our tracks is how long exactly? And I don’t blame you for asking. Uncertainty is a scary place. 

If you’ve been at the day job for 2 months, three years or ten, the important thing to remember is the world doesn’t move at the same speed you do. 

Play the long game.

Rewards will be reaped when you focus on doing work that matters to you. If you infuse, patience, with gratitude and seeing failures as a step forward and not a step back, your time at the day job will be a lot better. Meaning your creativity will have the right level of attention. 

Pace yourself. 

To Sum It Up:

  • Your position is temporary. There’s a plenty of opportunity to go around. 
  • Kindness over ego. Continue with your day job and focus on what really matters.
  • Say thank you. A positive outlook dispels the bad. 
  • Fail more. Your response makes you a better person.
  • Be patient. Choose the long game instead of virility. 
 

 

Thanks for reading! I appreciate it all and I hope there was something useful for you here! 

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