Thursday, May 29, 2008

What do you do for a living?

On the Tag post yesterday, I mentioned I didn't like my job and one thing on my everyday to-do list is to find a new job. Apparently I wasn't alone in this feeling, and an interesting discussion started in the comments section.

Many of us communicate daily in the blogosphere, but we don't know what everyone does for a living. As any human, we are curious of our counterparts. Let's face facts, we all have to start somewhere and make money, so....

What do you do for a living?

What makes you love or hate your job?

What other job would you like to be doing?

Please feel free to comment anonymously for your privacy.

To get the convo rolling, I'll start by saying I'm a textile designer. I sit at a gray cubicle for most of my day, staring at the computer, and designing patterns. I love design and pattern work, but the corporate side of this industry is very different. Plus, the textile product I design is not exciting (not home furnishings or fashion). My job isn't creatively challenging, and I miss that from school. I don't like the corporate aspects - be here, in this cubicle, even if you don't have work. I wish we had more out-of-work creative time. Sorry...gray cubicles are NOT inspiring. Luckily blogs are!

What other job would I like to be doing? This is tough because I feel confused about my next step. Please Sir has helped me develop skills that I would like to pursue further. I would love to get into interior styling for magazines or commercial products. I would also like to dabble in product development for innovative companies, like create interior products with new materials.

In the meantime, I continue my job search and would LOVE to hear about yours!


Julia said...

Wow, what a great conversation starter Diana! You're a textile designer, it sounds so cool! What are the patterns for, can I ask?

I'm an Art Director at a large engineering consulting firm here in Madison! I've just started this new job, so right now I don't have anything to complain about, but, about two months ago I was ready to pull my hair out doing my other job! It was so limiting and even if I did like the projects I was working on, my boss liked to micro-manage so I never had the satisfaction of FINISHING a project. From her, I learned what NOT to do :)

Hey, good luck in the job hunting! It took me a little while to find this one, but i'm so, so glad I started looking! It felt good to know that there was an end in sight, even if I didn't know what it was!

Krissy said...

Hi Diana- so glad you did this!
Before my job that I dislike now, I designed patterns for scrubs. I really hated it for all the reasons you described. Then I jumped from the pot to the fire..

I'm a graphic designer and have worked at a small print/design shop for almost 6 years now. That's a long time to dislike your job, but I've been looking since the first year. I can't seem to find anything I would like any better. Until then, I stay there at my desk in a room that looks like a warehouse that never gets cleaned and the AC hardly works with 5 bosses (there are 7 people in the company, hello?! can you say too many chiefs, not enough indians).
Oh, and the majority of what I do is re-draw floorplans for home builders and set up their brochures. whoohoo. I think I might try a whole new path.

Good luck to you. I hope you find what makes you happy. Life is too short.

mary said...

Great topic. I saw your tweet on this yesterday and I said...hmmm...she feels just like I do. So, here's me:

What do you do for a living?

I am an account manager for a high-tech company.

What makes you love or hate your job?

Love: the ability to work from home. It's the only reason I haven't lost my mind. Oh, and the salary. Don't love: that it isn't remotely close to anything that I want to do or have ever wanted to do.

What other job would you like to be doing?

I don't think there's really a job or career that fits what I'd love to do. Which is OK, because I'm at my best when I can have my hand in a little bit of everything. Which would include:

1) Owning my own stationery/paper goods shop (both online and a brick and mortar in my town, which reeeaaaally needs one)
2) ...possibly also carrying a well-edited selection of vintage finds and unique gifts
3) Freelance writing about things I love
4) Photo styling
5) Working for a site like Kirtsy (OK, got that covered!) or a magazine where I can share finds of things that I love
6) Putting together favors and decor for weddings, parties, etc. Rebecca Thuss is a huge inspiration for me.

alyson. said...

hi Diana, thanks for visiting my blog! it's always nice to "meet" new friends. :)

being a textile designer sounds like fun, even if it's boring work. just wait for that right opportunity to branch out into something more fabulous!

I technically work two jobs. I'm working as a graphic designer for a large catalog/retail company from 9-5 and then a freelance designer at night, which means, I sit in front of my Mac alllll daaaaayy.
job # 1: I spend my day in a gray box, which I've covered with pictures for inspiration and sanity. my job includes editing and dropping photos into catalog layouts, preparing images to go up on the website, creating email blasts - yes those millions of semi-annoying emails you all probably get if you subscribe to any - and resorting images on the website. oh yea, and blogging. :)
job #2: this job keeps me alive. and it keeps my creative juices flowing. and bonus, I can work from my laptop on the couch! I started a design company called Sunali. I create custom designs including, blog headers, blog buttons, note cards, calling cards, and much more. I love creating things for other people and I love illustrating.

so yea! that's me in a nut shell. :)

diana @ please sir said...

Wow - thanks so much for contributing - turning out to be a great post! I'm glad to know I'm not alone, and there is hope out there. I design the fabric that goes on mattresses. All WHITE. Yeah - NOT exciting! Plus, we pretty much copy other work, so not very original either. You are right - life is too short - great advice!

Joanna Goddard said...

great post, how interesting....

What do you do for a living?
i'm a magazine writer and blogger in new york.

What makes you love or hate your job?
love: interesting assignments, interviewing cool people, thinking of fun story ideas, going to industry parties, meeting great photographers and other writers and editors, staying current on trends in art and design and fashion, being passionate about magazines and writing.
hate: low pay, working from home by myself (i miss co-workers!), waffling editors who assign you one thing and then change the topic after you've done TONS of work, your writing and work constantly being criticized and analyzed, unpredictable schedules, always having to pitch yourself, working on weekends, no benefits or financial stability.

(you can see that i'm a little conflicted about my job at the moment!:)

What other job would you like to be doing?
i would love to go back to having a staff job at a magazine. i LOVED being an editor; it's just as busy as being a writer, but it's so nice to be on a team. or i would love to become a full-time blogger, where i blog for magazines and write my own blog. or i would like to open a little home decor shop in the countryside and have 10,000 babies! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

ps. another con: carpal tunnel! i always beg my boyfriend to give me a hand massage when he gets home from work :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Hi Diana! Thanks for asking a fun question!

I wear many hats, which is why I think I am crazy sometimes. :-)

Some I get paid for, some I don't.

My main job is the one I love, thank goodness. I run my own interior design business. I do lots of one day redesigns using what people already have or helping them find new things, as well as I have several clients who I work for regularly, redoing their entire house with new furnishings, etc. Love that job immensely, and I get paid so that is a winning combination.

The other job I have is for a family business, I am in marketing at a publishing company. I can do a lot of that from home. I've done that one for many years, and I get paid, so it is a good job to have. I don't love it as much as my design work, but it does keep me busy and thinking about marketing, which helps in my other business.

In other work, I write for an online magazine on decorating and lifestyle topics, and do my blog, of course!

Then I am a mom to three children.

Yep, lots of hats.

Go for your dreams, Diana!

Happy day,

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am only a student, so I nanny and etsy for some extra money. I love both! Both let me use my skills and keep me changing and growing all the time!

JLC Studio said...

Hey Diana...great question and it's something I've been really thinking about over the last few weeks...this fits right in with what I've been turning over and over in my head so it's great to get it in writing!

What do you do for a living? I'm an interior designer at a small residential design firm by day and make and sell jewelry as well as collaborate with my sister at our graphic design company, Wildwood Girls.

What makes you love or hate your job? At my day job, it's just me and my boss and, like Julia, he likes to micro-manage EVERYTHING!! It's soo frustrating working for someone like that because there is really no creative freedom (in a job which is all about creativity!). It's such a shame too because this company really needs that extra push to get to the next level and he's just not business savvy enough to get it to that level (even though he thinks he is!). Our office is always under "construction" and I've been asking for a personal filing cabinet (at my desk) for years and years...I'm totally at the breaking point where I'm going to buy my own and bring it to work with me. I should buy the ugliest, cheapest one I can find just to motivate him to PICK ONE and go with it!!! I kind of feel like I'm currently stuck in a rut and have been itching for a change! That's why I love designing and selling my jewelry because I've got that creative freedom and can run with whatever my heart desires. I'm so happy that I've found something that I can be passionate about in my free time and it's totally motivated me to be as ambitious as I was when I first started out in design. It's actually a great feeling-I think I've always been a little bit of an entrepeneur (sp?) and feel satisfied when I'm extremely busy!

What other job would you like to be doing? The job I've been turning around and around in my head is opening a B & M shop where I would sell great home accessories, jewelry and general finds that I've come across lately. I've found sooo many great things through Etsy and the web and feel that I've got a great foundation of unique sellers and items to one day jump in. I don't know if this will ever happen and, if it does, it's a bit down the road in my life but it's given me something to work for and the ambition to make it happen one day! We'll see where life takes me...that's what's so never quite know where you're going to end up and the journey to get there is half the fun!

Thanks so much for posting this question, Diana!! I think I might have to post on my blog as well and link to this...:)

High Desert Diva said...

Too funny. Saw this image online was my #2 idea for a post today.

Courtney said...

I market an outpatient surgery center and recruit physicians for my daily, regular paying gig. On the side, I freelance as a prop/set stylist for my friend who is a photographer and also do random design related jobs for people. It was a hard adjustment when I first moved to Houston going from fashion to healthcare, but I love life so much more now.

Things I hate about my job: my boss. Really that's it and he's new as of a month ago.

Things I love about my job: I work for people who love me to pieces. I work from home. Make my own schedule. Get to stay in my PJs until I feel like
getting dressed and not wake up to an alarm clock. I have a zero stress job and while it's not as creative as my previous places of employment, it's a heck of a lot more bearable. I for once feel adequately compensated for what I bring to the table. I also have my weekends to do whatever I want. Which is NOT work.

What other job would I be doing?
I couldn't ask for anything more right now. I've found ways to feed my creative passion - blog, side styling jobs, working with my photographer friend, etc - but I've realized that my 9-5 doesn't always have to be 100% artsy (for us creative folk), sometimes it can just be OK. Because my OK right now is a million and one times better than my fashion gigs that I thought were beyond perfect. And since I still haven't figured out what I want to be in life, I'm content for now!

design for mankind. said...

Your job sounds so glamorous!!!

Ha, my job? You're lookin at it, dear. Just resigned from my fashion pr job and am now an official full-time blogger. Eek!

::{J}:: said...

Well, I make & sell handmade things. It's still a fairly new venture so I'm still working on a lot of branding & marketing & even working out some methods of production!

I love that I have all creative liberties with what I do. It's really not contributing to anyone else's vision but my I can change it whenever! I don't like that it isn't the most consistent form of income at the moment...:)

I'm not quite sure what my dream job would might consist of traveling the world & getting paid for it!! Seriously, I think being a prop stylist, like for magazines & photo shoots would be a blast! Especially if it were for Anthropologie.
Joanna's job sounds pretty fun...!

A Print A Day said...

•What do you do for a living? 

generally speaking, i've been a toy designer, industrial designer, accessories designer, and print/graphic designer and have done so in a 9-5 setting and/or working from home.

What makes you love or hate your job?
i draw and make things, and i get to do it all day!

i see people wear or use the things i design.

products get featured in periodicals and whatnot.

there's a lot of satisfaction in doing something you love and getting paid to do it.

i work in settings that allow me to be inspired and let my imagination run wild.

travel and trend shopping.

being around creative people who you can bounce ideas off of.

i draw and make things, and i get to do it all day! :P

there are cons, but the pros outweigh them, i think. but i'm pretty easy going so i have a tendency to overlook the bad stuff and concentrate on things that work :)

What other job would you like to be doing?
i actually LOVE what i do. the only thing i'd add to it is grow my business enough that it would allow me to contribute more to the causes that are close to my heart, ie, hunger, poverty, animals, human rights, etc...

also, prior to an art degree, i was a geology major. i would love to finish the last 2 years and work as a volcanologist/seismologist for a bit just to change things up :)

A Print A Day said...

i love your surveys :) it's interesting to see what people answer!

Decor Fellow: James Saavedra said...

Hi Diana...great topic and so lovely to have you visiting my little blog :) So here it goes, eh...

My current job:

In simple terms--Saavedra Design Studio.

I am an interior designer based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I have been fortunate enough to have one or two great clients that allowed me to FINALLY stop working for others and work for myself. ( That is not to say that it is not a struggle at times...) I, too, was in a thankless job.. as the visual director of a large upholstery manufacturer and developing product.. that was depleting all of my creative fire and one day I just snapped and said "no more amigos". It is certainly not the easiest path but it is more rewarding. In addition to my interior jobs I also am the co-founder and co-designer of a new sustainable, high-end furnishings company called "jak"...which stands for james and kelly...kelly lapalnte is my partner in fabulousness. This will launch July 10th!

What makes me love my job:

Creating. Freedom. Sleeping in if I want to. Being able to shop at the farmer's market on Monday Mornings at 10 am. Feeling like I am on a wonderful path. Changing people's lives with design. There is much to love.

What I dislike:

The fact that there is no defined markers on my path to ensure I am "doing it right". Wondering how will I get the next client or project.

What other job would I like to be doing:

Hmmm? I don't think that there is any other job that would not be related to design that I would like to have. I think designing for the home and creating beautiful and stylish spaces will always be my foundation. I believe that everyone deserves a life infused with beauty and style so I am working towards that goal.

I am toying with the idea of teaching at risk youth the basics of design so that they can get an internship or entry level job at design firms. Also, I was fortunate enough to have people mentor me, and provide me with scholarships so that I could get an education and channel my passion into a I am also researching how I might be able to give another this opportunity of an eduction.

My ultimate goal is to have a successful multi-disciplined design studio that will allow me to have a life well-lived while giving me the freedom to give back to others.... The list goes on...

I would love to be a contributor to shelter magazines and have multiple lines of product that bring beauty and style to people's you see it is all related to what I do.

Follow your instincts and stay open to opportunities and your next step on this journey will appear...:)

diana @ please sir said...

Wow - I'm quite envious of some of your jobs! Glad to hear all the comments - they are great and I think help me and others put things in perspective (and motivate!).

Teal Chic said...

Good luck with the job hunting.

I graduated from college in Dec. '06 with a degree in Mass Media/Communications. I have been a caregiver for my grandmother who has dementia over the last couple of years. I also miss school very much, but since I've started my blog...I feel like I'm "actually doing something." As my ultimate goal is to be a journalist (broadcast reporter/anchor.)

In the meantime, I've also started a company called Teal Chic. I recently learned to knit around Christmas, and have sold a couple scarves on Etsy. I'm also helping my mom market her flowers in antique and garden shops in my jurisdiction.

Good luck with the job search. I totally know what you are going through. It's tough when you don't like what you are doing. I love my grandma, but it's VERY, VERY, VERY stressful.

Trend de la Creme said...

What do you do for a living?
Chief Marketing Officer of an Internet Company by day. Trend addict and fashion junkie by night.

What makes you love or hate your job?
Love that I'm the boss. Hate that I'm the boss.

What other job would you like to be doing?
Kitschy singer on a cruise ship. (Okay, not really. Actually, I would love to be an art teacher!)

Fifi Flowers said...

I own an interior design business... I love it!
BUT... I would rather be a singer... wear a fabulous dress... lay across a grand piano and belt out tunes or a singer in a rock n roll band!
Since I don't believe that is going to happen... I will stick to designing... singing along with my ipod!
Thanks for the DAYDREAM of what could be... if only!

Robin said...

What do you do for a living?

I work in the event business as a logistics manager and on-site producer. I fell into the event business by accident about 15 years ago. I have never and will never be a wedding planner (I'd rather shoot myself).

What makes you love or hate your job?

Some people say my job sounds quite glamorous and on occasion it can be, but for the most part it is all about juggling 100 details and making sure multiple clients' needs and expectations are being met simultaneously. Also I work for a small family business and the bosses can be quite generous about time off, dining out, gifts, etc. but at the same time micromanage. I love seeing the fruit of my work come together into an event that looks good, functions properly and where people enjoy themselves. I dislike that my capabilities are constantly underestimated, despite having been hired because of my 15 years in the biz.

What other job would you like to be doing? I have worked in three different event scenarios - 6 medium-sized, high-end events a year; 6 small-sized events a month and 4 huge events a year. If I stay in this biz, I would rather go back to the 6 medium-sized/year. That was the best balance of work/life for me. On the other hand, I would like to leave this biz entirely and open either a B&B or a small gift/decor shop (combo bricks & mortar and online).

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Diana - It's so funny that you posted this because just yesterday I was wondering where my career path was headed.

For the past year I have been a stay-at-home Mom of two boys and I teach Pilates a couple of nights a week, nothing crazy.

Before that I worked for a contractor doing accounting; seriously I know, sooo boring. The same thing every day, every really dragged. However I loved my boss and my company, so it was really hard for me to leave. The people were cool and the benefits were great but I decided for the time being it was time for me to stay home with the kids.

So I'm always thinking what am I going to do when the kids go back to school? As much as I would love to go back to my old job (if it was even available) I really would love a little more flexability to be able to juggle homelife and my worklife.

I LOVE the fact that with my blog and talking with other bloggers has brought back a side to me that I forgot existed. I love the fact that blogging has given me a little something to be motivated about. I know that if and when I choose to do something I think that I can make it happen. So all I know is I'm just working to create something for myself at some point that will be all me. I just haven't figured that part out yet.

That Girl Designs said...

Great topic Diana!

What I do for a living? We own a construction business (I'm the president, heehee). Most of our work is residential remodels. I handle all of the business/admin aspects of the business and my husband does everything else. I'm also a full-time (online) student working towards a second degree in interior architecture and design.

I owned a retail store (stationery, gifts, home decor) for five years which I sold a year ago to go back to school. (If anyone is interested in owning a retail store, please feel free to contact me with questions.) I've also been a jewelry designer, but have pretty much given that up for now.

What do I love (and hate) about my job? I have no real complaints. I work and go to school from home, which is such a treat. I get to work along side my favorite person in the world and I'm my own boss. Construction is not the most interesting line of work, but it suits my husband and we are dedicated to running an honest, caring company, which is not always what you get with construction businesses.

My dream job? At some point I realized that what I wanted out of life was to spend my time being creative. I've worked hard to get where I am today, and I'll continue to work hard to make sure that I always surround myself with creative people and endeavors. I loved owning a retail store and will again have one. This time I will start with a web site and them build to a store front after I graduate. This new store will be interior design focused and operate more like a showroom. At the same time, I will work as an interior designer. My big, big dream is to someday have a design firm that turns out work for textiles, paper goods, and accessories.

Diana, I just want to say that I think you are super talented and know that you will find what is perfect for you. Sometimes I look back at all of the jobs I've had and realize that from each I learned important life lessons, honed my business skills, and met wonderful, life long friends. When you hate your job, a lot of other things seem to suck too, but really, this is just a small bump in the road to a wonderful, fabulous, exciting career - and life. I think you are pretty darn extraordinary and I'm glad to have found you out in this great big blogging world.

Lydia said...

Discovered your blog via a little bird . . . and a wonderful discovery it is! Your job sounds pretty amazing and it's great the way you incorporate into your blog. (Love that woven glass post.)

My working days are behind me and now, thankfully. I was born in the wrong Time, and began work during college in the real estate appraisal field. I helped appraise properties with the guys, then I typed up the reports. I typed when only "girls" did that, before the entire world worked keyboards. Having never found my niche' (and I suggest the importance of doing so for the sake of a happy work life!) over the decades I was a legal secretary, a lily bulb scaler in a lab, a photographer's assistant in the darkroom, a researcher/interviewer/report compiler for volunteer services to youth in my hometown, literally in a typing pool at minimum wage, a small-town newspaper reporter, a political survey poller, the only person in Oregon responsible for auditing all of the mortuaries' prearranged funeral plans -- and, after I finally finished my BA a performance auditor for the Secretary of State in Oregon. By the time I was a professional in the auditing field ALL the auditors, men and women alike, were responsible for typing their draft audit reports and all at the same nice pay scale. The final audit reports? Oh, they were typed by the "administrative assistants," who, of course, earned far far less than the professional staff. Some things never change.

Krissy said...

I'm so glad you posted this - really enjoying reading all of the answers.

PS - I'm quite jealous of miss yasmine :)

A-M said...

Hi Diana, Thank you for sharing your journey with us! It is interesting that despite the exotic, creative title, 'Textile Designer', you crave challenges and you don't like the corporate aspects of your daily existence.
I left the job that I was trained for for those very reasons. I was a Paediatric Dietitian, working in the most interesting and challenging areas of Inborn Errors of Metabolism, treating children with PKU, Galactosaemia, Cystic Fibrosis....then new boss, job description change.... a year of hospital politics ensued and I gathered up my experience and moved out into the pharmaceutical world, working for an insulin company.... childbirth x 2, following hubby around the world with all his work, then a retail webstore, all the whilst playing violin in a bushband..... hmmmmm now I am still runnning my webstore and corporate fundraising events, running my 2 little boys around, playing in my band on weekends whilst building our home. After this home, I will build a spec home to sell. At this stage in my life, at the tender age of 41, I would not rather be doing anything else. My time is flexible so I can be the best Mum I can and I have the creative/technical outlet I have always craved, in designing a home +. If I could ask for one thing????... it would be a retail shop in which to display all my beautiful webstore products..... they are in boxes in a storage shed and it would be lovely to see them arranged beautifully and enjoy them daily... other than that my family is healthy and happy and we have a roof over our heads (well sort of!) ... so life is good!

You sound so talented and capable.
Follow your dreams Diana, take risks to get where you want to get to. There have been months where we have struggled to pay the bills but both my hubby and I jumped ship if we were not happy where we were.

Just jump! Life is far too short. A-M xx

a little bird said...

Dearest Diana,

I'm a tutor and a student, I teach and study creative writing and literature. Also some SAT stuff on the side. Oh, and I do bookkeeping for some educational companies in Socal.

Hopefully!! this work is temporary, and I won't be doing it for much longer....

My dream job? I would love to write for a living - articles, news, fiction or non fiction - and I would love sell my artwork.

Real job? I probably will end up in a cubicle, emailing back and forth with random bloggers whose lives inspire me more than my own : ) just kidding... HOPEfully, I'm just kidding.

I'm nervous, also, scared to take the next step. Let's keep each other updated. I hope you pursue your passion, because your blog is amazing, and you are so creative and inspiring to so many.


Anonymous said...

diana -- love this post + all the great answers! i'm always curious what other bloggers for a living.

i have to say, i'm more content now staying @ home with my little one and working part-time [director at a large pr firm] + having my little stationery design/etsy shop business than i've ever been. i never knew i'd love staying at home so much!

my dream jobs are pretty much all the same as marys! :} i'd love to open some sort of little shop one day. i used to dream about a little bakery but realized that wasn't for me :) i'm not a morning person and don't think i could handle the early wakeups.

i'm pretty content where i am now but will soon need to figure out what it is i want to for now, i'm having fun exploring.

Hooked on Houses said...

What a fun topic. I love stuff like this.

I work as a "professional writer," by which I mean I am paid to write whatever editors ask for. I work from home, too (interesting how many of the people here do!), which has many advantages when you have children. However, it can be frustrating to have so many interruptions all the time when I'm on a tight deadline!

I write magazine articles (I've got three I'm working on right now), but the bulk of my work comes from the editors of college textbooks who need someone to write all the sidebars, extra articles, Internet content, quizzes, etc., for them. I was an English major dreaming of writing novels after college but fell into this instead.

If I could make money blogging, I would! I'm jealous of Design for Mankind. How fabulous would that be to have the luxury of quitting the day job?

I started my blog as part of my New Year's resolution to find a way to enjoy writing again. I have to say that being able to write about what I want on the blog has made me happier with the paying jobs because that's not all I do any more. I tell myself I'm working to pay the bills so I have the luxury of blogging in my spare time. So far, that works for me.

Looking forward to reading more of the comments as they come in! -Julia :-)

Helen Cuthbert said...

Hi Diana, Glad you found my blog and now I have found yours!! Great topic as everyone always like to chat about what they are doing and more importantly what they would like to be doing!!

What do you do for a living?
I am also a textile designer...working for Monsoon in London. A ladieswear fashion brand for all those that have not heard of it.

What makes you love/hate your job?
I do love my job as the role is very varied. I too sit in front of a computor all day and "colour in" or so my friends say! The only problem is I do sometimes feel slightly stunted in my creativity and so would love to set up my company.

What other job would you like to be doing?
I am researching at the moment and would love my own boutique selling eco-friendly ethical products. Watch this space!!

Good luck with the job hunting something will come always does :0)

laceyJ. said...

Just stumbled upon your blog... what a fascinating topic! Seems like whatever job you're in- there's always a longing for more.

This post has been very reassuring! Glad everyone shared!

diana @ please sir said...

WOW - you guys are great! Not only inspiring, but a great motivational force. I'm having so much fun reading all your comments...thanks so much!

andrea said...

Thanks for such an interesting topic!

What do you do for a living?

I create visual effects for TV, film and commercials on the computer.

What makes you love or hate your job?

When I'm working on a cool shot for a cool project and it's going well I love it. When it's difficult and boring and the clients can't be pleased and I have to work 12 hour days and 7 day weeks I HATE it.

What other job would you like to be doing?

Painting is my first love and I hope someday I can pursue it full-time

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana, thanks for inviting me to comment, although I'm not really sure how to answer the question. It may turn out to be a long sad story.

I used to be a property lawyer. I enjoyed being a lawyer but I did NOT like the people I worked for - very long hours, huge pressure to meet budgets, little support or assistance, chauvinism, egomaniac for a boss, etc. I stuck it out for 5 years (way too long) until I had my first baby. While I was on leave I started my fashion accessories label.

Initially the business was very successful, it grew and grew without me having to do anything. The highs were fantastic - shops wanting to stock my products and collections being sold out within weeks. These days its not so easy and the lows are starting to outweigh the highs. The bigger you get the harder you have to work to keep it going. The pressure to keep making money sucks the fun out of designing and creating. Its also difficult to justify working so hard (for sometimes so little) when I could be spending more time with the children. Even though I work from home they don't really get my full attention. I hope television doesn't really make their eyes square.

My business really is my dream job. I just wish it was easier, I had more time and I made a lot more money.

Hila said...

I completely agree with you Diana, blogs are inspiring. I'm a writer and although craft, photography, design, etc., technically, have nothing to do with my "job", I find them really inspiring. Sometimes all it takes is one lovely photo to give me an idea. Or to look at some sweet things to change my mood and get me in the mood for writing again. Anyway, to answer your questions:

Obviously, I'm a writer. I'm currently working on finishing my PhD in English. I should be lecturing/tutoring too, but have taken a "break" to get the thesis done.

I love the fact that I get to do what I love and what comes naturally to me. Having said that, I have found that my profession is not really respected here in Australia. People tend to look at academics and writers as time-wasters who don't have a "real" job. This is what I hate about what I do: the need to continually defend it and get questions like "what's the point in doing that?"

When I was in High School, I wanted to do fashion design and this is still something I have a deep fascination with.

Good luck, I know the "cubicle" feeling (I used to work in an office). I'm crossing my fingers for you!

Jules said...

How very ironic you decided to do a post on this topic today because today was my last day at the most fabulous job I've ever had :(

What do you do for a living?

Until a few hours ago, I was an interior designer/project manager for a small design firm in Orange County, CA. We worked exclusively with new home builders designing and merchandising their models. I loved this job because I'd get to design multiple homes at a time, selecting everything from the color scheme and concept, furniture selection, custom art, furniture, accessories, etc. and selected all interior specifications. What was so fantastic about the designing part was the freedom to make decisions based on my own vision - I didn't have to get approval on every single choice (as with residential clients). The best part was seeing my vision and all my hard work come to life in the end!

What makes me hate my job?
Well, my boss was a bit of a micro manager and control freak, in addition to being passive aggressive and a tad crazy...

What other job would I like to be doing?
I have a bit of time to ponder that one, now that I'm officially unemployed! I'm actually working on my own design business, creating custom design plans for small scale residential projects - mainly for people who are looking to design a room in their home but don't have the money or feel the need to hire on a full time designer. They give me a little info. and snap shots of their space and in return, I send them a completed design package with everything necessary to create their new space. I’d also like to one day have an online boutique store, selling beautiful things for the home.

My ultimate goal is to work from home and it’s inspiring to see that a lot of people commenting here are doing that! Good luck to you Diana; follow your heart and remember, the sky’s the limit :)

Whitney said...

Great topic...I'm always so interested to see how everyone else spends their days and talents..

What do you do for a living?
Full-time graphic designer for a university. I create anything from booklets, brochures, postcards, etc...for the academic world

What makes you love/hate your job?
I love being surrounded by a small group of designers who appreciate design in the way that I do...I actually hate working on a computer all day...which leads me to the next question..

What other job would you like to be doing? I would like to find that fabulous opportunity that blends a little bit of computer work with hands on creativity..maybe something with letterpress, or possibly photography. I see myself being we'll see what happens next in my career path :)

Dianna said...

what a timely post for me & an excellent one! i was working in purchasing for an interior design firm until today when i was laid off. i love purchasing, but only if it's buying cool stuff and not boring things. which is why i loved working for an interior design firm because i was able to buy fantastic furniture pieces, art, lamps, and accessories. it was so much fun! for my next step, i hope to be able to work in a creative environment and not a stuffy corporate one. bleck!

kris said...

Hi Diana,thanks for this great question.
I'm working as a freelance fashion designer.What I love about my work is illustration and tons of fabrics that I can see and choose, flip through tons of magazines and seasonal trend books and been payed for it and I work from home.What I really hate is that I'm not my boss,and I never see how my collection sell on the market,most of my clients want me just to re-draw the existing pieces of others collections,very stressful,unpredictable schedules , and so much more .I would love to have something mine,so I hope to found out soon what it could be,like Krissy said life is to short,in the mean time blog world gives me huge inspiration and self-confidence.

Good luck with your new job research!

The Lil Bee said...

Fantastic post. And here are my thoughts (and hopefully words of wisdom for you!):

My job right now is a freelance writer/event producer. I have this job because not 3 weeks ago I quit my role as a full-time writer/event producer for a men's magazine and decided I'm sick of working for The Man. (Ha...I just realized that brutal irony!)

What I love about my new job is that I'm my own boss, I can take on or pass up work as I please, and I have more time to spend with my husband, my two dogs, and my family and friends. It's been a long time coming.

Other than devoting more time to writing (my book) or taking classes (photography, yoga, writing), I am right where I want to be at the moment. And that feels really good.

Whatever you're thinking of doing, I say take the plunge. It's better to regret having failed at something than always wonder what that something could've been.

I'm rambling...not much sleep! Saw Sex and the City last night and OH MY!


Cicada Studio said...

I'm a Design Director/merchandiser/textile surface designer for a mens and boys underwear company. I've been in this business for about 15 years now and I'm dying to get out. It is Bor.Ing and uncreative for the most part- it's the corporate/mass market business angle that gets to me most.

For the last few years, my focus has been on graphics- corporate identity and collateral. I enjoy it, and even thought this is going to be my new career. Until I realized that I love the surface design aspect of my job and also branding. My complete spare time focus is on making this my new career. Thankfully I realized this when I did as I was about to quit everything and start fresh in the graphics industry... meaning a lot of new things to learn and ladders to climb. I will continue to marry all my various know-hows with my dreams.

Those dreams are what keeps my going.

littlebyRD said...

I stay home with my 3 year old and also have a small business little byrd, sewing fabric gifty items and selling on Etsy and in a few Portland shops, one of which I also work at a day or two a week. I love that I have the opportunity to do all. There aren't many days I wish I was doing something else and feel lucky for that! The flip side is when business is slow with Little Byrd I take it very personally and that doesn't feel good; lots of highs and lows for sure. And then parenting...well, for me at least, it is just about the hardest job I have ever had but also so good in all sorts of ways. Great questions Diana - I can't wait read through everyones answers.

Stephanie Ryan said...

As always a great topic. I am a tabletop designer for Lenox. I do work in a corporate environment but they are designer friendly. I work in a cubicle like space but it is right next to a huge wall of windows overlooking the river. I am lucky because I have a wonderful boss who is also an artist/designer and understands that creativity can not be forced in an uninspiring situation. The only problem I have right now is that I live about an hour and fifteen minutes away. My days are very long. I also have a stationery company, Blue Pumpkin Press, that I am trying to get off the ground and that is very time consuming. You would think that all of these things would make me content...but no. My real dream is to have my own line of fabrics and products based on my designs. Like Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, etc. I want desperately to be able to work from home creating designs, sewing, and seeing those designs on product. That is so very different from working for a company as a designer because it is never really the way you want it. But my day job isn't bad at all, I'm very lucky.

Wanderluster said...

Excellent post! I’m at a bit of a lull in my career so reading the other responses has been invaluable.

What do you do for a living? I’m a Project Manager in an IT services company. I manage two operations teams as well as lead strategic projects focusing on things such as defining our global delivery model and how to increase our usage of India resources; or creating a training program for our 400 project managers. Stimulating stuff… sometimes.

What makes you love or hate your job? I love the mental challenges, working with cross-functional teams, having an idea and running with it, controlling my own calendar and having the ability to focus on things that interest me, my hands-off boss, making an impact to the organization, mobilizing and leading teams, the pay. What do I hate… my open cubicle, lack of good role-models/mentors/visionaries in our leadership, managing certain personalities, and the lack of any creative aspect at all in my work. The environment is as corporate as it gets.

What other job would you like to be doing? I’ve been trying to figure that out. On the side, I write books. I also organize creative events (check out, if you’re so inclined). I do renovations on my house. I blog. I love photography and illustration. But I also would love to open my own consulting business… providing one-on-one coaching to business owners; or facilitating teams and developing strategies; or one focused on design, both external (your environment, your home) and internal (a life coach? Design your life to achieve personal goals). I guess I’m a left- and right-brain kind of girl. I’m trying to find a job that stimulates both, if even a thing exists. I guess that’s why I like reading blogs… they open my mind to the possibilities.

I *Heart* You said...

I love this post Diana!

I do marketing and account management for a branding and design firm. I have been at my job for 5 years and have worn all kinds of hats here. When you work for a small company, everyone pretty much needs to know how to do everything. While I do sit in a cubicle, I have a window and view of downtown Houston, an Aeron chair of my very own and am surrounded by brilliant creative minds all day of them being my husband who is a design director. Being in Houston, our main market is energy so the money shot for any project usually involves offshore oil rigs so it isn't always glamourous and "designy". One of the fun things I get to do is work on our firm's marketing pieces and I recently wrote a story for a brochure my husband designed that was illustrated by Leigh Wells so that was pretty exciting. Sitting in front of a computer all day was my one job no-no but alas I have found myself here, parked in front of my Mac day in and day out.

Things I love about my job: the beautiful office, my awesome co-workers, the creativity that oozes out of everyone and into our work and the ability to pop my head into my husband's office and say hi or take a 5 minute cat nap on his sofa, having my opinion and input valued.

Things I hate about my job: it starts at 8:00 am, working my butt off on something that may never see the light of day, making group decisions over email....always futile and the stress that comes with deadlines.

Other jobs I would love to have?
A fashion photographer, a magazine writer, a boutique owner or a costume designer for movies.

I think for the most part everyone at one point or another hates their job. But at the end of the day if you feel satisfied, valued and good about what you are contributing then you can cut through all the BS that can bring you down and focus on the fact that you are pretty darn lucky...and I feel lucky.

Laura @ Shore Chic. said...

GREAT post! And I've loved reading other comments.

What I do for a living --
I'm a marketing communications director at a business-to-business company. I also do some freelance writing & PR (for consumer products and events, mostly) on weekends.

What do I love/hate --
Love: My day job is technically part-time -- I work about 30-35 hours/week in the office 3 or 4 days a week. I'm trying to cut back even fewer hours to enjoy my new house. J

My freelance stuff tends to be a little fun since I can choose to do when I have time to work on (and since I have a job, I’m not depending on freelance work to pay the bills).

I also work really, really well with a couple of people at my job (including my boss) which makes up (almost) for the ones I don't get along with. Perfect segue to what I dislike. J

Snnooooooorrrrre. Not the most stimulating subject matter. It’s a small company, so I am the marketing “department,” so some days can involve 7 hours of administrative work (mail list exporting, editing; labeling postcards, etc.). I wish I could spend more time on the creative stuff. Also not fond of many of my colleagues. They are llaazzyyy. Like my boss a lot, but there can be a fair amount of micromanaging (or my new fave term – nanomanaging ;-)

What would I like to do?
Gosh…antique store, home d├ęcor store, crafting, baking – all fun and creative things that will likely not pay my mortgage! I also wish I could spend more time on my new blog – it’s way more fun than any of my other work!

Wildwood Girls said...

I'm a stay at home mom who just started a tiny Graphic Design business with my sister. I love spending time with my kiddos but I am by no means a born housekeeper. I actually hate cleaning and doing laundry so it's been a struggle for me to stay positive and optamistic. I would love to open a shop with my sister featuring handmade items we have found. Oh to dream...

pve design said...

Live to draw.
Draw to live.

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

Great topic:)

I'm a firm believer that we were not created to live on this earth to spend the majority of our time working at a job we don't have passion for all for the sake of bills or success!!!

That's why I quit my HR job 5 years ago to pursue painting. I had an aching in my heart, and God finally smacked me on the head one day with the idea that people might actually appreciate and pay for my art. Now in addition to having my own faux finishing company (along with my business partner and friend), we create and design custom picture frames and other home decor items that are sold on our site and in stores and boutiques.

Of course, nothing is perfect. On the faux finish side, it's hard not having a gauranteed salary. Some weeks we don't have jobs lined up till the last minute. And now, driving all over several counties can eat up very expensive gas.

As far as the gray cubicles go, I know the feeling. Just pay attention to your heart. God will guide you... He wants you to live out his will. It just might be hard to do because sometimes it goes against the "grain" and seems illogical and not practical to the world.

Usually that's how I know if god is telling me to do something. If it sounds crazy, it's probably from God!

Alexa Johnson said...

Wow! This is fascinating.

I have two hats...floral/event designer (which is fabulously fun), and mom to two darling boys (which is at various times glorious and joyful, mind-bendingly tiring, the most rewarding thing I've ever done, and frustrating beyond belief). I wouldn't give up either job for anything. I fell like I've come through to the other side--I did spend years at a dreary job teaching high school science, and it is completely miserable doing something you're not meant for.

Good luck to all of you! It takes some risk which is very scary, but the payoff is immense.

Laura said...

What do you do for a living?
I am a university administrator in a creative arts field.

What makes you love or hate your job?
I love the people and places I encounter, as well as the great benefits of being able to take classes and see lectures, performances, etc.

What other job would you like to be doing?
Writing my blog for a living, running the administrative end of a design firm with my sister (who is a graphic designer), writing a column for a design or home magazine, photo shoot stylist, or interior designer.

bandelle said...

Diana -- what a fabulous topic! It's so great to hear about all of these wonderfully creative people who are striving to fulfill their dreams.

I'm actually a web/graphic/jewelry designer. I made the decision last year to really jump into the creative field since that's what I LOVE to do. And now I'm a much happier person. Making my own creative decisions has been the most rewarding part of it so far.

Of course, like any job, the good always comes with the bad but luckily it's just not quite as bad (although getting to the point where income is much steadier would be a huge bonus). The one thing I miss about being in an office is the constant human interaction. But I have found that blogging and "meeting" new people through their blogs is one way to fulfill that need. It has also been encouraging to get to know other people who are in the same boat so that when I'm feeling down I can read about their inspiring stories.

Thanks for gathering us all here to talk about this topic.

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