Why do I do what I do? Having been out of work for almost 2 years, I’m taking a long, hard look at my chosen profession. I started in technical communications over twenty years ago, pretty much by accident. I needed a job and my brother (who was a technical writer) got me a job at the startup he was working at doing screen shots and images for their engineering specifications. That got me into writing and from there into training and instructional design. Not the career I originally wanted. I recently had a phone interview with a company and they asked me what gets me excited about this career. It was a question I’d never been asked before (I’d been asked how I got started in this field, but never this). I had to think about it for a moment because while I knew the answer, I’d never really had to articulate it before. Why do I do what I do? After more than 20 years of doing technical writing, training, instructional design, video editing, script writing, and mentoring, I’ve come to realize that what I do is rooted deep in who I am.
I am a teacher.
I love seeing people succeed. I love showing people how to do what they do better, faster, more efficiently using the tools or product I’m working with.
I’ve thought many times about changing careers, but I always come back to technical communications because it’s at the core of my identity.
The old saying goes “do what you love and the money will follow”. But what I’ve found is that I took my first job because I needed the money and over the years I have come to love what I do. Throughout my career, I’ve taken jobs because I’ve needed to but then I’ve come to love the people, the place, the work. And what I’ve found is that more often than not, the job morphs to match my passions.
I’m still out of work right now and looking for my next opportunity (If you’ve got an opening, shoot me a message and let’s talk), but in the meantime, I’m still finding opportunities to do what I love.
Everybody says it’s important to stay busy and stay current when you’re out of work. I volunteer as the communications V.P. for the PTA at my daughter’s school. Gives me a chance to stay up on current web technologies as well as try out new communication strategies that I come across.
So they say do what you love. I say don’t worry about that. Just do what you gotta do and the love will usually follow. (And the money.)