(This is a launch of anew series on ways people can reconcile their interests, hobbies, fandom, and geekery with their careers. In it I will explore the different options we have to turn what we love into what we make a living at).
One of the surest ways to combine what you like to do with how you make money is this:
Do something you enjoy doing for a living skill-wise.
Yes, that sounds flip and simple, but the truth of the matter really is quite simple. If the skills you use and the profession you perform is something you enjoy, then you've found a way to combine your interests with your career. If you do what you like in your career, you'll be happier and more fulfilled.
To do this you need to have two things going for you:
First, you need to make sure, simply, you're applying the skills you like to do something you like. This can be as simple as a programmer programming away at an application (no matter what it is), or as complex as someone with an obsession with Japanese food becoming a n independent reviewer for restaurants. Very simply, if you do what you like to do for a living, you'll be happier.
Secondly, you need to make sure other factors on the job don't destroy the joy you get from doing it. If you're an artist and hate working on T-shirts, then you won't be happy making them. If you love model train sets and dioramas, you might be thrilled to work on landscaping, but hate the location you're doing it in.
These two factors too often get lumped in together and people hate a job where they like the work, but dislike the other elements of the job – the place, the industry, the goal, etc. This distracts from the sheer joy of doing what you like.
But in the end, it's a simple lesson – to combine fandom and career, find a way to do what you like for a living. Sure there's many other factors (which is why this is a series), but that's a core principle for your happiness.
– Steven Savage