10 Questions You Will Receive When You Have A Nontraditional Career

10 Questions You Will Receive When You Have A Nontraditional Career

Back in April, I made the terrifying but liberating decision to quit my corporate, salaried, benefited job to pursue my all-over-the-place, bizarre, internet job. My parents thought I was crazy, my friends tip-toed around me for a while, but I felt pretty confident in my choice. And despite the fact that navigating private health insurance has been a pain in the ass, figuring how to budget when your paychecks come from 17,000 different places gives me a headache, and my sleep schedule is a mess, I really wouldn’t do it any differently.

Even though I’ve been a much happier and balanced person since the switch, there are some friends (and family) who just cannot wrap their brains around the choice and how it works. For the most part, it’s harmless and I get it. They’re just curious; it’s fine. But after answering the same questions over and over (and over and over and over), you get a little sick of it.

I’m sorry, that was putting it delicately. You want to scream.

1. “What do you do all day?”

Ummm pretty much, well, WORK. If you’d really like me to breakdown how I spend 8+ hours a day for you I’m sure I could, but I don’t ask how you procrastinate in your spinny chair while minimizing that softcore tumblr porn you’ve bookmarked every time your boss walks by your cubicle, so let’s just not.

2.”So you just like…watch movies for five hours a day and only work for three, right?”

No, we literally just covered this. Maybe don’t equate my life to a sitcom of someone who’s unemployed. THANKS.

3. “Is it hard to stay busy at home or in a coffee shop?”

Yeah actually. You know how you get distracted because your push pins aren’t color coordinated? Imagine that but times about a million. I can do laundry, dishes, meal prep, watch Netflix, paint my nails, dance naked to Britney Spears… you name it! But weirdly enough, I’m an adult. I understand that what I do is for a paycheck, and if I just choose to NOT do it, I’d be letting a lot of people down and making an ass of myself. Although, I do get a good amount of work done while naked and listening to Britney so…yeah you can be a little jealous.

4. “How do you pay your bills doing that?”

Well, aren’t you rude? I pay my bills exactly how you pay yours– by having a skill that someone hired me for, executing said skill, and then collecting dolla dolla $$dOlLaZ$$ for it. But all fun capitalization aside, you do realize that by asking this you’re basically asking me how many HJs I have to give around back to make rent, right? Fucking rude. Let’s turn the tables. How do you afford to pay for your girlfriend’s ridiculous Tapas obsession by making glorified spreadsheets in your Old Navy belt and khakis all day? HMMM?! HMMM!? Not such a fun question now, is it?

5. “Can you get me a job doing that?”

Probably not, you’re probably under-skilled and under-qualified. Kind of like I would be to do your accounting job, right?

6. “Can you wear sweatpants every day?”
(I recognize that this is targeted at careers like mine but deal with it.)

Actually…for the most part, yeah. But I don’t because I have a lot of clothes and like to look cute. I will totally cop to holding Skype sessions with current and potential employers while not wearing pants. It made me giggle during the session which made me seem more likable. WHATEVER.

7. “But like…how does it work?”

Literally how every other job works. I know it seems like I’m getting paid for doing something anyone can do, but it’s not that simple. You’re are absolutely the person who goes to a museum to see a painting and says “Well, I could paint that” as an excuse for not getting the point. And every single time you question the ability it takes to do what I do I hate you a little more for it.

8. “Is it hard?”

So…it’s a job. And even though I’m getting paid to do something really out of the ordinary and I’m amazingly luck to do so, it’s still work. It has days that fly by in what seems like minutes and days that make me want to take up heroin. You should recognize that each time you question the validity of my career I question the validity of our friendship. And also, want to take up heroin.

9. “What do your parents think?”

Well, I’m not living in their basement and fucking guys on their couch, so I’d say they are pretty a-okay with it.

10. “When are you going to get a real job?”

OKAY. SHOTS FIRED. Just because what I do wouldn’t have a booth with a pie chart made on Microsoft Paint at the Career Fair doesn’t mean I don’t have a real job. I may write from home (or make videos/blog/assist someone/take care of kids/be self-employed or whatever atypical career you other weirdos have), but that doesn’t mean what I’m doing isn’t real, admirable, respectable, or valid. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth dignifying, so basically… you fucking suck. Sure, I don’t have to dress all business casual or put on makeup every day, but I have career, thank you very much. Tell you what: I’ll get admit to not having “real job” when you stop hating your life and being jealous of me at yours. K? K.

Image via Shutterstock

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Kendra Syrdal

Once in college John Cusack asked Kendra to sing for him. She said no. Visit her website to ogle at her face and send hate mail //

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