I don’t have a real job. Although the particular definitions of these things are a bit elusive, a “real job” is generally considered one that gives you full-time work, benefits,and a reason to carry something briefcasey. The kind of job where your competition for the position isn’t coming from kids who are still in high school. The kind of job that requires some sort of certificate of completion of something.
So, what are all the jobs that are part-time, non-beneficial,. and non-briefcasey? Are they fake? I’m writing at least part of this post at 5 AM before getting on a real bus that will take me to a real Steak ‘n Shake where I will really serve customers and indoctrinate new employees in the ways of the really real Great S’nS Powers (they promoted me to a Service Trainer: this is what comes of being too good a thespian). At the end of my shift, I’ll take home real money, so the job isn’t a figment of my imagination. But you have to admit that it’s not exactly the sort of position one goes through college to get. The tutoring job is of course excellent, but it IS only part-time and can technically be done in pajamas. Which sort of takes some of the high-powered mystique out of things.
The obvious fix for anyone bothered by their lack of a real job is to, of course, fill out applications for real jobs. But what if you’re not bothered by a lack of realness in your daily work?
You’re probably a writer. Or an actor. Or an artist. Or something else that takes up too much of your soul to leave much of you leftover for a career in a different industry. You can’t take a real job because a real job might distract you from your purpose on earth. (Okay, maybe that’s overstating it a bit. Then again, maybe it’s not.)
Fake jobs (for lack of a better term) are vital for anyone trying to do Something Else. Raise a family, publish a novel, create the next Mona Lisa or video game awesomeness, etc. The thing about a fake job is that it allows you to come home, shed your uniform, and forget about it completely. There’s no paperwork to take home after a day of serving food: just cash, which is sort of convenient for buying gas and paying rent. A fake job allows you to excel by simply showing up to work on time. You can use the parts of your brain not needed for the job (most of them) to think about things that actually matter. When what you truly care about starts to bear fruit, you can leave that fake job without feeling like you’re giving up an investment.
Not every fake job is a gift or anything even close to a blessing. But sometimes, it’s exactly what you want. Maybe in a few years you’ll be ripping up your diploma, screaming at the clouds, “WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE? WHY? WHY!!!??”
But you’re not there yet.