Whenever I play golf, I find myself meeting new people and having to answer the question, “What do you do for a living?”
This is tricky for me. I often think of myself as having at least three jobs.
My answer should probably be teacher, since is my “day job.” It provides the steadiest salary, the health insurance and all the other benefits of a typical career. But as a friend pointed out the other day, I’ve already published three novels and make just as much money writing as I do teaching, and I write year-round, whereas teaching takes a break for the summer.
Though teaching is also the activity that occupies the most amount of my time, I’ve actually been a DJ for longer than I’ve been teaching. My teaching career began in 1999 but I launched my DJ company in 1997. In terms of pure longevity and experience, DJ trumps all of my other jobs.
Most important, I take all three jobs equally seriously. The importance of teaching is obvious, but as a DJ, brides and grooms count on me to make one of the most important days of their lives perfect. It’s a lot of pressure and I take the work extremely seriously. And as a writer, I know that each sentence that I write will one day appear in print, unchangeable and immutable, so I’d better like them all.
No job plays second fiddle to the other. They are all important.
The last time I played golf was the same day that I was marrying a couple in my capacity as minister (my often forgotten fourth job), and when the midst of conversation, I mentioned the ceremony to one of my friends.
“Oh. You’re a minister?” another guy (not my friend but someone who filled out our foursome) asked.
“Kind of,” I said. “It’s just a part-time gig, and I’m not actually religious. I’m really a teacher and an author.”
“Then why did you become a minister?” he asked.
“Actually I’m a wedding DJ, too, so I became a minister so I could marry my clients.”
“You’re a DJ too?” the guy asked. He looked like he had just stepped out of a washing machine. I had just thrown four occupations at him in the span on thirty seconds.
See what I mean? Awkward.
Making it more difficult, everyone else seems to have just one job.
“I’m a IT guy”
“I’m a sales rep.”
“I install kitchen counter tops.”
“I’m a elementary school teacher, and I’m an author, and I own a DJ company, too. And occasionally I am a minister. I also get paid to speak from time to time, and I’m also a life coach. Oh, I tutor students, too.”
See what I mean?