“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that there’s a single straight-up match between a passion and a career. For example, just because you’re into music, it doesn’t mean your best shot at career happiness is to become a singer-songwriter. There are lots of people with different jobs who collaborate to work on one thing. Let’s go with that music example again. There’s the talent, the manager, the people who market the band, band merchandise designers and salespeople, *deep breath* music video choreographers, directors, and editors, people who do lighting for the shows, people who arrange the tracks, album artists, *deep breath* people who manufacture and repair instruments and amps and microphones, copyright lawyers, stylists for the talent, and people who manufacture recording gear. Maybe you can think of more. The point is, there are lots of careers related to each fandom, so if the first job you think of isn’t your cup of tea (or financially feasible at the moment), keep thinking. There’s more out there than you realize.
What if you just want to play music? Does that mean your piano or guitar gets relegated to the off-hours to make room for your day job? Perhaps. But perhaps not.
So what if you can’t get paid to perform your songs? You could still make music for commercials, record background music and song loops for others to use in their creative projects, teach other people how to play music… this list is shorter than the previous one, but it too goes on.
If it’s getting to the point where you’d like to take a level in progeeking, you have to ask yourself which is more important: working towards the creation of what you want to create, or using the skills you want to use?
To go with our music example, would you rather not play music but be a part of music production, or play music but have your efforts feed into something else? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s important that you decide.
See, the career path of a profan usually sporks off. I say “spork” instead of “fork” not just to be quirky, but because there is indeed a difference. Boring regular career paths can fork, splitting up and forcing you to make a decision. A profan’s career path will similarly diverge, but in a way that maintains its harmony and connection with the rest of what brought you to that point. If you stay geeky, you never really leave that circle of love.
Ideally, you can do both creation and preferred skill using at once. That’s the dream. But in making your dream come true (or at least setting out in that direction), your first option will likely make you choose between the two. So choose a path, venture forth, and take that spork in the road.
- Tamara Hecht