Three things you should never forget… even when working your dream gig.
So I spent the last year working for a truly amazing company. Not only did it give me a chance to develop some new writing skills, it gave me the opportunity to work with some of the best co-workers I’ve ever had. The clients I got to work for were incredible. The perks of the job were unbelievable.
However, now that the gig is done and I’m moving on to bigger things, I can see that I let a few things fall to the wayside.
So for any writer that just landed a incredible dream job or long-term gig, I’d like to send out a quick reminder. Here are three things you need to keep doing, even if you’re exactly where you want to be.
Have a ritual that tells you you’re off the clock.
If you truly love your job, your job sometimes follows you home. It can be so easy to use your spare time to think of ways that you can improve, help your co-workers out, or just make things better. And that’s a wonderful impulse. In moderation. But you need to nurture who you are as a person, not just as an amazing professional writer. Whether it’s grabbing a $1.00 soft drink from McDonalds on the way home, or taking 10 minutes to meditate after wrapping up your work from home shift, find the ritual that helps you actually clock out. Something that gives you permission to be yourself again, in all your multitudes.
Take at least an hour a day to work on your creative projects.
Art isn’t just about inspiration and skill. It’s also about practice. The violinist Jascha Heifetz knew that when he said, “If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.” Even if you are working hard to write marketing content or UX scripting or general content with skill and flair, you shouldn’t let your core writing skills atrophy. Whether that’s short stories, poetry, script writing, novels, or flash fiction, you’ll need to make time to keep those skills fresh. Even if it’s just to keep the public, critics, and your self-doubt at bay.
Keep your online presence current.
Working for a single company is a luxury, and unfortunately, even the best creative professional can’t forget that. So you need to make sure the tools you used to land your dream job stay up-to-date. You should make sure your resume is updated every six months. That way you can highlight the projects you’ve spearheaded while the details are still fresh in your memory. Make sure that your professional website and professional social media accounts are updated every two weeks as well. This ensures that your site stays SEO optimized, and people can see that you’re staying active and are still awesome.