Never Give Up Your Art for a Career
When interviewing for a job, someone asked me to quit blogging
Two weeks into the hiring process of my dream job, something awkward happened. The friend who referred me called my phone and gave me some harsh news.
“The big boss doesn’t like your blogging. He thinks you talk too much and wants to know if you’ll go silent from now on.”
I’d never been asked such a challenging question before. Putting food on the table is important and so is doing work you love, which for me was blogging. How do you balance the two? Do you trade your side hustles and passions for the support of someone you’re going to have to work with if you take the job you label as “a dream?”
I didn’t have to answer the question right away and was given some time to think. The truth was, I didn’t really need any time to think. The question was already answered the moment it was posed.
I went back to my friend and politely told them the following: “Giving up blogging is not an option. Thanks, but no thanks.”
You Can’t Change Who You Are
Blogging is a big part of my life and silencing the words I write is like being asked never to leave my house again. You are who you are, and the moment someone wants to change you for good, you should be alarmed and worried.
During this experience, I realized that the need for me to change actually had nothing to do with me. It was the insecurities, fears, and demons of the requester, who was going through a rough point in their career, that caused them to ask this question.
It was an old view of the world that suggests that you don’t talk too loudly, you worship the old guard, and you do as you’re told that caused the question. It was a leader who had become irrelevant, trying to protect their place in the world by taking away something from a stranger, like me.
You can never win by depriving someone else of their joy.
The Money You Get Won’t Make You Happy
While there was plenty of money on the table to become silent and quit blogging, I knew it would make me incredibly unhappy.
Blogging has brought me so much joy because it has become an outlet for me to help others in ways that I never thought I could or would. The extra zeroes on my bank balance would have looked good for the first few months, but the sleepless nights of no longer doing something that means so much to me would have made those zeroes feel invisible.
More money never delivers on its promise. You think your life will change until you realize that it’s just a few more purchases you don’t need in return for the time you’ve had to give up to earn the dollars in the first place.
Whenever I have chosen money over meaning, I’ve always been bitterly disappointed. When you trade something like a passion for money, you end up having huge regrets later on that you can’t always go back and fix.
They Just Don’t Get You — Plenty of People Do Get You
Asking me to silence my thoughts and give up blogging, according to a wise mentor, translates to the simple fact that they just don’t get me.
People who know me know that I write. People who care about me want me to write and would never ask me to give it up.
Plenty of people won’t get you in life. They will misunderstand you and try to mold you into their version of the world to confirm that what they’ve done in life is correct. Asking me to give up writing is like asking me to become an alcoholic and smoke a packet of cigarettes a day — it’s not who I am and I’ll never be that person.
Outspoken People Change the World
The main reason I was asked to give up blogging was that it made me appear outspoken. The influence I had on an online audience was seen as a bad thing.
The ridiculous thing is that outspoken people, and people who are able to influence another person, change the world.
Would you want Martin Luther King Jr. to be quiet?
Would you hope that Elon Musk never does another interview about space again?
Would you hope that Rosa Parks didn’t speak up that fateful day on the bus?
Would you want a silent president to run the country?
Of course not. Speaking up is how we learn, adapt, grow, and change as human beings. Each of us is given a voice, and I’ve chosen to use mine to inspire and spark positivity in an otherwise negative world.
It’s a cause I care about, and there’s no harmful or malicious intent. I’m a simple blogger from Australia trying to do the best I can with whatever time I have left on this Earth.
It’s OK to be outspoken. It’s OK to have a voice.
Use your voice for good and don’t let people tell you to be silent. Ignore their request and protest by continuing to speak.