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#OtvTIPS: Find Work You Love by Identifying Your Unique Angle

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As Austin Kleon says, what you love and what
loves you back only overlap if you’re lucky.
For most of us, we spend time in each of the
sections of this diagram, but rarely in the space
where they overlap. That means we’re either
spending time doing what we love without
being adequately compensated for it, or we’re
working a job that loves us back with money,
benefits, freedom, and so on, but we’re not
enjoying it. Let’s look a little more deeply at
how these areas overlap, and what we can do
about it.
When You Love Doing Something People
Don’t Want
This is a hobby.
Doing something you enjoy that nobody will pay
you for is not a sustainable career.
There are two ways to approach a hobby like
this: either be content to keep it as a hobby and
focus elsewhere for your income, or work hard
on it until your skills are good enough that
people will pay you for it.
Sean McCabe calls this second approach the
overlap technique . By overlapping a hobby you
enjoy with a separate, unrelated day job, you
give your hobby room to breathe. You can
spend enough time doing it to know whether
you really want it to become your job or not, and
you can use your day job to keep pressure off
your hobby as an income stream.
Sean did this when he learned hand lettering,
which he’s now best known for. While working
a day job as a web designer, Sean spent his free
time practicing hand lettering because he loved
it. As he shared more of the lettering he was
creating, he started to build up demand for his
lettering services.
Eventually the demand grew to where he could
leave his day job behind and turn his hobby
into a full-time job.
Doing What People Want When You Don’t
Love It
The other extreme is to do something you don’t
enjoy which is in demand. As a day job that
supports other pursuits, this can work for a
limited time. But if you’re building a career
doing something you don’t like, you’re heading
towards chronic stress, drain, boredom, and
possible burnout.

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