Creative Side Projects Can Make You Happier at Work

August 24, 2016

10:33 am

Happiness is a moving target. While it’s nearly impossible to consistently be satisfied with your life, one’s occupation can go a long way in making you smile on a regular basis. Unfortunately, job satisfaction numbers in the US leave a lot to be desired and people are often looking for a way to make their day job a little more fulfilling. But what if that’s not the answer? According to one entrepreneur, it’s not.

Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur and the author of The $100 Startup, a well-known bestseller in the startup community. His belief that everyone needs a creative outlet to counteract their unfulfilling day job is far from outrageous. While many claim that fully committing to their day job is the only way to live, having side hustles can supplement your income while also making you happier with your decision. In fact, having an identity that is solely focused around your job is a good way to lose yourself in the professional world.

Many notable artists subscribed to this thinking. Stephen King dyed leather for coats before making it big as the best horror writer in the history of literature. Brad Pitt used to deliver refrigerators before becoming the heart throb we love to root for. Even composer Phillip Glass drove a cab before becoming the notable opera composer we all know and love.

“The good thing was I didn’t have to work that many hours, because in three or four nights I could make enough money to live on,” he wrote in his memoir Words Without Music.

Even if you don’t feel passionate about your line of work, you never know what kind of information you could glean from a day job. As a tech blogger by day and a stand-up comedian by night, I can’t emphasize enough how the act of writing everyday has made performing every night that much easier. And I’m not the only famous writer that thinks so.

“I do feel that a lot of the professional craft of writing is something I learnt from those years in advertising and I’ll always be grateful for it,” said Salman Rushdie when asked about his day job before writing.

So don’t quit your day job. Not only could it be improved by a creative side project, but it could also help your creativity blossom more than ever before.

H / T World Economic Forum

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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