Sparkling Vampire Jobs

The real danger of a day job is having one – at least, if you’re ever wanting to do something other than your day job.

Day jobs are energy vampires, sparkling in the sunlight.

Day jobs sparkle in the sunlight. It’s the promise of a steady paycheck – a real alluring siren song if you’ve got regular bills (or want to eat something other than ramen). And they’re energy vampires.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other week. She said that she hated her job, and wanted to do something different – which is why she was talking to me.1 The most telling point for me – and something I completely empathize with – was when she said “I’d love to do all this stuff, but when I get home I just want to sit and watch TV. I don’t have the energy to do anything else, not even fun things.

I worked for about two hours on a project last night, and it left me energized. It’s a cool project, may just make me some money, and moves the world a little bit closer to the way I want to see it.2 I can easily think of two hours at my day job where I did easier work – but felt much more drained afterward..

That draining is toxic. Imagine that you get a great opportunity pop up. A freelance gig doing what you want, an educational experience, whatever it is. But you’re so drained from your day job that you can’t imagine doing anything else that day. So the opportunity passes you by… and you’re still drained.

I’m not sure how to get over that drain yet. For myself, I creatively use strong coffee, the early morning, and a judicious amount of “blowing crap up”.3 I want to hear your suggestions: How do you get over being energy-drained from your day job?

1 Since I talk about this stuff all the time, y’know.
2 More on this later – stay tuned!
3 Current games of choice: Altitude (link with 3hr demo) and Half-Life. This is dangerous, though, in that you can get sucked into playing the games instead of doing anything else.

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