Today I learned that hybrid cars often have a much lower carbon footprint than pure electric vehicles, when factoring in production costs and ongoing energy sources. It started me thinking about the concept of hybrids, and whether blending two things creates a better output, or a jack-of-two-trades, master-of-none situation.
Labradoodles, cronuts, skorts, vanilla-chocolate swirl ice-cream, and treadmill-desks are just some examples of well-executed hybrids (full-discretion, I stole these from an IBM cloud commercial).
But when it comes to a career, is blending your personal interests with a practical profession the best-of-both-worlds or a courage-less compromise?
This pursuit of a practical path aligned with passion is extremely common in the realm of entertainment: a field where an infinitesimal percentage can truly “make it” aka support themselves comfortably on craft alone. Aspiring actors, directors, and writers flock to LA in droves to work “in the biz” as mailroom assistants and coordinators, touching art while not directly responsible for creating it. Although their path is questionably stable and well-paid, it is a much safer route than busking on a street corner. Ideally they network their way to a true creative gig, or work their way up the corporate ladder: in tune, but never quite on par with the visionaries around them.
In my current role as a PM at a music tech startup, it often feels like I’ve hit the jackpot. I’m constantly surrounded by my passion: drawing on musical knowledge when conducting research with our users or discussing technical implementations around music metadata. Yet, I also get to develop hard skills like data analysis, design, and technical writing, all the while receiving a steady paycheck at the end of the month.
Still, there are some days where it feels like a compromise. Where a tiny thought nags at me that had I chosen to embrace being a musical artist fully and put in the 10k hours there instead of walking the “path,” I would like the outcome even more.