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MatthewO90
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29 Nov 2017, 12:36 pm

I wish I did not eventually have to work full-time just to make a living. I could pursue a passion that could make me money instead.


However, my therapist told me that people rarely make a living off of their hobbies/passions. Having heard that, I feel crushed. I feel like my life will inevitably be going to a job I find boring, working alongside people who make me uncomfortable, being sad and stressed all day long until I get home, feeling like my weekends are too short, and not feeling like following my passions in what little free time I have. What kind of life is that?!

"People have to work for a living. That's the way the world works," my therapist said. Sometimes I question why I was born into this world. I have no idea how I am going to move forward. I don't deserve stress or depression.

I'm hoping I could be told how similar people get along in life.



arielhawksquill
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29 Nov 2017, 1:40 pm

If you do start training for a job that is related to your passion, you will soon find the stress of having a job ruins your passion. You might even start to hate what you once loved.

People work to get money to spend on doing the things they love. If your particular special interest takes so much time to engage with that you have no time left to work for money, then you have a problem. A happy medium might be working part time and living very frugally so you have enough money to stay alive and pursue your passion.



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29 Nov 2017, 1:54 pm

It depends on the Aspie. I've been doing one of my Special Interests as a job for three decades.



caffeinekid
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29 Nov 2017, 2:01 pm

I want to do what I enjoy when I want to do it, not from 9am to 5pm.

I've never had a full time job although I've had a couple of non-skilled part time ones.

The last one was 10 years ago - I had a breakdown so bad I thought I had a brain tumour and couldn't sleep because I thought I wouldn't wake up again if I did.

I cried more on the day my sick-note ran out than on the day my mum died. I am not lazy, I just don't want to be told what to do and be forced into a position that makes me ill again.


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garysoneji
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29 Nov 2017, 2:05 pm

That sounds like most people's lives. Sure, it's a little depressing and can be a bit of a bother, but hope and survival instinct keeps us going. It is less likely to make a living based on an interest or passion, but not so uncommon that you shouldn't try or expect it to be impossible; it just depends on what you like doing. You don't exactly need to like your job or career, either. I think it's more important that you don't dislike it or find it to be detrimental to your health. Eventually you'll get into a routine and mindset where you go to work and then enjoy your time off as much as you can, and likely end up appreciating some things even more because they're less available to you.


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MatthewO90
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29 Nov 2017, 2:45 pm

garysoneji wrote:
That sounds like most people's lives. Sure, it's a little depressing and can be a bit of a bother, but hope and survival instinct keeps us going. It is less likely to make a living based on an interest or passion, but not so uncommon that you shouldn't try or expect it to be impossible; it just depends on what you like doing. You don't exactly need to like your job or career, either. I think it's more important that you don't dislike it or find it to be detrimental to your health. Eventually you'll get into a routine and mindset where you go to work and then enjoy your time off as much as you can, and likely end up appreciating some things even more because they're less available to you.


Are you saying most people are sad and stressed all day in a job they don't like?! I believe that life doesn't have to be that way.



arielhawksquill
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29 Nov 2017, 3:05 pm

MatthewO90 wrote:

Are you saying most people are sad and stressed all day in a job they don't like?! I believe that life doesn't have to be that way.


Life doesn't have to be that way, but that is the way it is for most people. The idea that everybody ought to get to do a job that makes them happy and fulfilled is pretty recent, and doesn't hold up to reality (somebody has to be the janitor.)

There are other life paths besides working for money, including being a stay-at-home spouse, accepting social welfare benefits based on your diagnosis, or dropping out of capitalism entirely to join a commune or live in a van (for instance.) You are not the first person to notice this problem with modern life and want to explore alternatives.



kokopelli
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29 Nov 2017, 3:18 pm

Find something that you enjoy that people will pay you to do.

I used to know a biologist in Houston who had a great job in a medical laboratory, but she soon realized that it was boring. She lasted two years.

Guess what she did after that. She washed windows and worked at the door of a night club admitting people or turning them away.

Her primary customers for the windows were downtown high rise office buildings and very expensive private homes. On the high rises, she only washed the first floor windows. There were companies that did the upper windows. The quality needed on the upper windows was minimal -- just a quick wipe on the outside. On the first floor windows of high rises and all the windows of very expensive homes, she polished the windows until they were perfect. It took a lot of time for each window, but she was reasonably well compensated for all that time.

For the private homes, each year in Houston there was (I assume still is) an annual home tour of some of the most luxurious private homes in Houston to raise money for some cause. It was called the Azalea Trail. For a month or two before that tour, she had all the work she could do.

It took her some time to get started on the home tours because the owners often had plenty of valuable items lying around and they didn't want them stolen. Once she got a reputation as someone who wouldn't steal, her window washing got really busy by word of mouth.

The night club was a rather strange club. It started out as a gay club, but then the young trendsetters discovered it and moved in. For three nights a week it was a gay club, for three nights a week it was a trendy club for the young, and on Sundays it was both groups. It apparently worked pretty good. I'm told that it was part of a chain in many cities and in all the clubs in other cities it was strictly a gay club.

She had the money she needed for what she had to do, but more importantly, she really enjoyed life. She only lasted two years in a biology lab, but when I met her she had been washing windows for about fifteen years.

In my area where I grew up and am living now, there are people who collect scrap metal and sell it. They don't make lots of money, but they do okay and they enjoy working for themselves.

There are a couple of people around here who mow lawns. Around here, that's not real big, but it gets them by.

The local public school has some jobs that are pretty low key and you are left alone as long as you get the work done. One is a janitor. One janitor we had a few years ago did it because he liked sports and he liked taking care of the gym. I think that he was a retired engineer. Another job that is low key is doing maintenance. You pretty much have to be ready to fix about anything, but if you can do it, it's not a bad job at all.

Several years ago, I considered applying for a job at a non-profit theater in Denver. Pay would have been limited, but I would undoubtedly have found it enjoyable. My problem was that I was living in Houston at the time and they couldn't afford to pay any relocation expenses. So to get that job, you pretty much already had to live in Denver.

The point is to find something you enjoy doing.



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29 Nov 2017, 4:03 pm

Depending on your passion, you may or may not be able to turn it into a paying job.

Love machines?? Air conditioners are your breath of life?? Plumbing makes your world go 'round?? Fascinated by the way computers work?? Intrigued by germs?? Fascinated by biology?? That's a career.

Enthralled by video games?? Live for anime?? Got a burning passion for coming-of-age stories?? Hand-blown glasswork is your Zen space?? That's going to be difficult. I mean, yes, there are people who make a living as game developers and authors (text and otherwise). SOMEBODY has to be making money off the stacks and stacks and stacks of manga in my teenager's closet. Hubby knows people who make a decent little side-income off glasswork. But-- no, most people with a passion for those things don't do it for a living.

Yes, your therapist is in a sense correct-- a fair bit of being a "real adult" involves doing s**t you don't really like, either because it needs done or because someone will pay you to do it. Hubby doesn't exactly love HVAC engineering; he does it 50 hours a week because he DOES love eating food and living indoors and having disposable income and watching anime and playing video games and going places.

I don't exactly love scooping cat pans and sweeping up dog hair and washing dishes and weeding and mowing and breaking up fights. But I DO love playing with my kids, and teaching them stuff, and playing with the dog, and cuddling up with a pile of cats, and having a big-ass garden. Part of life is doing things you don't love. Find things you can TOLERATE, and live YOUR life in the rest of the time. It turns out to be enough.


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30 Nov 2017, 4:16 am

MatthewO90 wrote:
I wish I did not eventually have to work full-time just to make a living. I could pursue a passion that could make me money instead.

However, my therapist told me that people rarely make a living off of their hobbies/passions. Having heard that, I feel crushed. I feel like my life will inevitably be going to a job I find boring, working alongside people who make me uncomfortable, being sad and stressed all day long until I get home, feeling like my weekends are too short, and not feeling like following my passions in what little free time I have. What kind of life is that?!

I'm hoping I could be told how similar people get along in life.


Your therapist is right; it's rare for people to get a career they really enjoy. Not impossible, but rare. You ask what kind of life is that and, well, my answer would be that it is a normal one. Most people have to do things they don't really like in order to afford to do things they do like and to stay alive. Just try to find a job that is at least tolerable and pays enough for you to get by... that's really all advice I can give.

Currently I'm unemployed so I have plenty of time for my interests, but I'd enjoy them much more if I knew that when I want something related to them I can go and buy that something... and that is the part that is hard now that I'm unemployed; I can't enjoy my special interests entirely the way I want to because I can't afford to do so. To be completely honest that is the biggest reason I'm looking for a job; while I can stay alive with benefits, in order for me to really enjoy my life I need more money and if I earn the money myself then I don't need to feel quilty for using it for things I just want instead of needing them. You could try to look at things that way, too: don't think of all the time you'll lose because of working, think of the money you'll get and can use on things you like.

All that said, I'm also working on making a special interest of mine in to a career. It is very unlikely that I'll be able to do so, but since I enjoy doing it anyway and it doesn't affect my job search (or job when I get one) I'll keep trying. Who knows, maybe my dream will become reality one day.



Embla
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30 Nov 2017, 5:28 am

Living off your passion is a tricky thing.
It is true that it is really hard to make a living off your hobby, but there are a LOT of people who's doing it, and there's no reason why you shouldn't have the same chance of doing it as anyone else. With the amazing internet around, there are so many opportunities to make money out of doing the weirdest things. Really, I know a guy who makes money out of filming himself dancing around in a straw-skirt and yelling out personalized messages for whoever orders it. I doubt that is his passion, but it's a good example of how you can make money out of just about anything.

When it comes to making money, it is very possible to make a living out of your passion, but it might depend on your standards. I am an artist, and I can live off painting, but only because I have really low standards of living. There are artists who make average wages. But with my current situation, if I wanted to live in a real apartment/house, have running water, eat good food three times a day, have a car, etc. Then I would need to get a real job. Which I actually did, and that brings me to the next point:
About the passion dying from doing it as your job, that depends too. I took a weekend-job, in order to paint less for other people. Right now I only do commissions, which means that a client will come to me and decide what I should paint for them, and that brings down the enjoyment of it. So I took that "real" job, which is paying me about the same as the commissions does, and that allows me to focus on painting the things that I think is fun. And the passion is back up!
If I could earn the same from only selling my originals, then I would enjoy it just as much. Because I would be doing it the way I like to do it, I would just spend some extra time on putting the paintings up online. (and I'm working on it!)

So, It all depends. If there's a way for you to pursue your passion in a way that would keep it alive, and also make money out of it, then it seems like the best idea ever to go for it.
If you need an average standard of living, then it's probably a good idea to get a "real" job, and work on making your passion into a job on the side, until you can afford to quit the day job. I think that's how most people do it. If you don't need much to get by, there's a good chance you can reach that level of income pretty quickly.



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30 Nov 2017, 6:44 am

Well, I disagree with your therapist. I guess she imagines everyone wants to be a football player or a famous artist.
But I know a woman who loves her work at meat stand in a supermarket - she enjoys occasions to meet people and talk about cuisine. My sister packs calendars for delivery and she loves the clear method and monotony of this. A girl I know from school was happy with her job in a sweet factory because her boss was wise and supporting.
There are carpenters, gardeners, teachers who find a lot of satisfaction in their work. Shop attendants really interested in what they are selling. Soldiers who find their service fulfilling. Tour guides. Librarians. Not to mention scientists and engineers.
So I am strongly for following your interests and finding something you enjoy enough and someone is willing to pay for.


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30 Nov 2017, 2:01 pm

I know a lady who loves designing gardens as a professional landscaper. Though she didn't get there directly, as she started out as a civil engineer.



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30 Nov 2017, 4:43 pm

magz wrote:
Well, I disagree with your therapist. I guess she imagines everyone wants to be a football player or a famous artist.
But I know a woman who loves her work at meat stand in a supermarket - she enjoys occasions to meet people and talk about cuisine. My sister packs calendars for delivery and she loves the clear method and monotony of this. A girl I know from school was happy with her job in a sweet factory because her boss was wise and supporting.
There are carpenters, gardeners, teachers who find a lot of satisfaction in their work. Shop attendants really interested in what they are selling. Soldiers who find their service fulfilling. Tour guides. Librarians. Not to mention scientists and engineers.
So I am strongly for following your interests and finding something you enjoy enough and someone is willing to pay for.


That reminds me of one girl I used to know who worked in a grocery store. She inherited enough money that she never needed to work, but she wanted to have something to do instead of sitting around and working in a grocery store made her happy.



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01 Dec 2017, 4:36 am

I love being the janitor! I was a groundskeeper for a while, and it was almost as great as sitting at home painting all day. If only I didn't have to take the bus to get there.
If the artist-thing doesn't work out, janitor or groundskeeper is at the top of my job wish-list.



arielhawksquill
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02 Dec 2017, 9:08 am

magz wrote:
Well, I disagree with your therapist. I guess she imagines everyone wants to be a football player or a famous artist.


Presumably he told his therapist what his special interest is, and as a grown-up experienced in the world of work she knew it wasn't something likely to become a job.