The definition of a bad job is a bad employer. I have had teaching jobs, illustration jobs, drafting jobs, retail or any type of job, that were horrid simply because the employer didn’t respect me or failed to pay. I’ve worked in manual jobs where I enjoyed the work because what I did was appreciated by the employer. When you don’t have respect or you worry about being paid for your efforts, the joy of working is not there even if you love the work.
These days I’m an artist and art teacher, full-time. To be an artist full-time you need support – financial back-up or become famous. As I am not famous I have back-up. Every day I am thankful that I now have back-up and I don’t take it for granted.
In the past I played a game in my head to keep the work challenge fresh, when going to work was hard. I thrive on challenge and I made my various jobs into daily challenges. I also looked for jobs that used the skills I have. The skills I have are all art related and when you work in a discipline that is artistic – many employers feel they don’t need you and your job is always at risk. You also don’t get the respect other workers get. For many years I took on Illustration jobs and Design jobs that were done at night after a full day of work. It was hard work. But I remember many times not wanting to go to my day job. I struggled with my art – which floundered. Now I look back and hope I don’t have to relive any of that. I love to teach. I love to see the art that my students do and the satisfaction they have when they are creative. It is the freedom they have and that I did not have that is the difference. In teaching you have to be awake and focused on your students all the time. It is harder than it looks but the challenge is always there and the payback is great when your student does well. Working freelance has no benefits or retirement funds. I think I will be teaching until I can’t get out to teach.