Hey all! It’s been a while since I’ve doled out any advice here, but it used to be my bread and butter, right up there with talking shit about Diddy and creating bold new euphemisms for vaginas (cookie monster’s toothless gums). It’s been said in erudite cocktail party circles that my advice is the absolute top-notch-best in the world, and while I truly, truly believe that to be the case, lots of it has to do with the fact that my little Dogs of War that need advice all need pretty much the same advice: How do I get laid/how do I get this girl or guy to like me (again)? HOWEVER, Every once in a while someone writes in with a question that’s truly tough. Today, friends, is one of those days.
Capt Murdock writes:
I’ve been working in a pretty boring and sterile cubicle job for 8 years now. I’ve been promoted enough that I can pay my mortgage, have two kids under the age of two and have a wife who only needs to work a few nights here and there to make ends meet. It is pretty soul crushing but it is a necessity based on the life decisions I’ve made up to this point.
I am also an avid homebrewer (Hey this tastes just like blueberry pie!) and go to nerdy homebrew meetings. Well at the last meeting a rep from a semi-local brewery stopped by and said they were hiring for a QA position that would allow me to make a career out of my hobby. I went to two interviews and basically have the job if I want it. There are only three issues. I would have to work 9pm – 6 am, I would have to move my family two hours away and I would be making about 40% less than I do now.
My wife has offered to go back to work on a regular basis to make up for the lost income and the kids are young enough that it really isn’t a big deal to relocate but I’m not sure if I want to pull the trigger. It just seems really selfish to do something like this and put the financial future of my family at risk.
Heyo! Firstly, thanks for writing in. Okay, now that the pleasantries are out of the way, wowzers…this is serious stuff. Frankly, I’m surprised that your perceived selfishness is your first concern. If I were you, my first concern would be the hours, which are gruelingly shitty. However, that says quite a bit about how much the prospect of being able to do this job excites you. I know that if I could do my dream job (judging blowjob contests) I wouldn’t really care about the hours either. That’s important, because lots of people think they know what they want and then find out too late that they actually hate being a tv sports guy(for example) and there they are, out one dream and stuck in a job they despise. That’s soul crushing on a whole new level, Capt. And that’s why I’d say if you weren’t ABSOLUTELY sure that you loved this as much as you think you do, you may want to think twice about moving, reversing your waking hours, sacrificing time with your family and money and having your wife get a job in order to do something that you only think you may love doing but ends up being totally soul sucking. I mean, people kill themselves for less, ya know?
BUUUUUUT I don’t think that’s you. You do this already, right? Sure you do. You go to the meetings, you’ve met with the guys. Presumably you’ve got the job offer because you share a passion and vision for whatever dumb raspberry torte stout that this brewery makes and you know the deal. You already brew and you know you like it. SO the hours aren’t an issue to you. You’d PAY to do this job, but the financial strain and the general bullshit that goes along with taking this job (your old lady getting a job, moving) seem like a lot to ask of people just so you can go live out your hobby as a job, right?
Here’s what I say: You have to do it. You know how many people out there, if asked wouldn’t even have an answer for “what’s your dream job?” Know how many people have dream jobs that they’d NEVER be qualified to do (like your fat stoner friend who wants to be an astronaut or your Korean pal with the limp that wants to be in the NBA)? You’re actually very, very lucky in that you have a passion that can be translated into making money AND (and this is the real point here) you’re lucky enough to have a partner that loves and cares about you enough to VOLUNTEER to make sacrifices so that you can fulfill your dreams.
As I’m sure you’ve seen, most people are married to horrible shitheads who operate selfishly and maliciously given the opportunity, OR spineless dipshits that roll over and do whatever the other person says or implies. A good relationship is hard to come by, and it sounds like you’ve got one. That’s good because you’re gonna be working from 9pm to 6am and you’re gonna need all the understanding you can get for a while.
ALSO, you don’t like your current job and that’s understandable. Most people hate their jobs. As a result, lots of people better their lives by switching careers. Sure, you’ll be making less money at first, but you’re getting into a new field with opportunities for advancement that you can hopefully capitalize on, right? Of course. So, let’s look over the docket, shall we?
1) You’ve got a passion in life (exceedingly rare)
2) You’ve got the opportunity to get paid for it (more rare than 1)
3) You’ve got a supportive wife that wants to see you realize your dream (even rarer than 2)
4) You hate your current job
5) You and your wife and kids are still young enough that you can all do this without it being monstrously hard on all of you.
6) There is no six.
I know this all sounds a little cavalier and simplistic, and as is the nature of advice columns, it is. BUT consider regret and how much you will hate yourself in another 8 or 28 years if you’re still in your cube thinking about the time you had an honest-to-god chance to get out and do what you love but you passed it by because of addressable (and what will seem, from the future, like minor) problems. You will be miserable. In the words of the Butthole Surfers: “It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done” and in the words of Marshall Mathers “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance.”
This shit’s true, kids.
I know this is a tough one. Good luck.
Oh, and bonus points for referencing a classic BSC. Good on ya, Capt!
Okay, tune in Monday when I’ll spend my time here telling y’all why I hate art students.
Have a good weekend and Happy 9-11 everyone!
I’m off to my local terror mosque!