Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to work a creative job.

I was proudly declaring that I wanted to be an author since I was 6 years old and although lots of things change during our adolescence and adulthood, this one didn’t.

My biggest dream is still to make a living through my writing and you can bet that I’ll be working my butt off to be able to do that. While I don’t particularly care whether I make money as a poet, non-fiction author, blogger, freelancer, or journalist, writing is the only career option I see for myself.

Why should you choose a creative career?

For me, writing means that I am able to express myself creatively. It’s also an opportunity to educate and entertain people and to give back to the world. Although many journalists have stressful, hectic lives, I also imagine that they feel immense fulfillment. And that’s exactly what I want.

I want a job that feels meaningful. A job that aligns with my values. A job that fulfills me because it is mentally challenging.

I don’t care about selling another product and increasing the profits of a company. I had a taste of that while I was doing a full-time PR internship in the summer and I didn’t like it. In November I started my part-time student job in social media/customer care and I don’t feel like it’s for me either.

Given the current circumstances, I am of course incredibly grateful for this work experience. It will most definitely help me to find a job after graduation. However, it feels like now I know what I definitely don’t want to do with my life when I had hoped that I would have these experiences and think to myself: “This is it. This is what I want to do with my life!”

But I can’t lie to myself like that.

The truth is I don’t see myself in a regular 9–5, chained to a desk. I don’t want to work a job I hate and collapse when I come home, dreading the week that lies ahead when it’s Sunday evening. That’s no life to live.

I want to like my job.

I want to wake up and be excited about what’s to come on that particular day. I want to work a job that I am proud of. A job that perhaps even has the ability to make the world a better place.

And I don’t think that’s crazy or irrational, even though many people pretend that it is. Considering that human beings spend about one-third of their lives at work, you better work a job you like. Otherwise, you’ll just be miserable and bitter and that is going to affect your relationships as well as your physical and mental health.

Choosing a fulfilling career can protect your mental health.

A study conducted by Jonathan Dirlam links early job dissatisfaction to mental health issues such as depression, sleep problems, and excessive worry.

Basically, your mental health goes down the drain if you work a job you hate, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. A job may bring about financial security but that’s not the only need it should cover. There are other needs we might have such as flexibility, work-life balance, being able to travel, having respectful bosses and co-workers.

So it’s not just enough to be given a paycheck at the end of the month. If this is the only factor that you consider when choosing a career, that is equivalent to choosing the mother or father of your children based on their sex and the fact that biologically you can have a baby.

Does that mean you are going to get along and be good parents? Not really.

That is why I can’t work a job that is unfulfilling for me.

I already struggle with depression and I don’t need to make it worse by choosing to work a boring office job. Having great relationships and doing meaningful work are pretty much the only things that can anchor me and make me feel better when I’m going through a rough couple of weeks. So pursuing a creative career is a means of protecting my mental health.

Essentially, it would be self-harm if I chose a career that would make me miserable.

Final thoughts

Lots of people try to prevent us from pursuing a creative career, saying that it’s not a real job or that we aren’t guaranteed a steady income. While the latter may be true, there also lies tremendous growth in learning how to navigate the uncertainty that comes with pursuing a career that is non-traditional.

You might even work fewer hours and make more money as a creative than you would as an employee of a company. In her latest freelance report, Zulie Rane stated she made 7.763,53$ in January and only worked 65 hours.

Of course, that is not going to happen in your first few months of being a freelancer or creative. However, it goes on to show what is possible if you finally listen to your heart and follow your desires.

If you are depressed, work a job you enjoy. Don’t work a job you hate.

Don’t exchange your sanity and happiness for being able to pay your bills. It’s not worth it.