Binge Bytes: ‘Don’t Keep Your Day Job’


Ashlyn Cary

“Cereal is no longer an unhealthy bowl of sugar and milk, but a delicious reward that I have earned by being alive.” (Design by Ashlyn Cary | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Palak Jayswal, Arts Editor


With two months left in the semester, panic and stress are starting to overshadow many college students — more so for graduating seniors than anyone else. As one of them, I can attest to the amount of fear, uncertainty and pure panic that comes with finding a job you are willing to do and that aligns with what you’ve studied. This issue is prevalent for those who pursue more creative majors especially, like writing, art or dance. Some may say having a mid-life crisis at 22 is too young, but I’ve never met a more stressed-out group of individuals than graduating college seniors. 

In my own panic, I’ve been seeking guidance and comfort in places most familiar to me — trusted professors, colleagues, fellow writers on Twitter and through art forms like books, essays, podcasts and more. Yet, to my misfortune, Barnes & Noble does not have a designated quarter-life crisis area. On a Friday last month, when I was wandering the store for any glimpse of help, I found a curious book — “Don’t Keep Your Day Job: How To Turn Your Passion Into Your Career” by Cathy Heller.

Ultimately, while I was interested in the book, my distrust for self-help books won out and I bought the latest romance novel instead. But I did take the time to flip through the book and learned that it came after the creation of the podcast under the same name. I decided to try listening to it first before making a decision and I’m glad I did — this podcast is not only the guidance I’ve been looking for, but it’s fun and welcoming too. 


To Binge or Not to Binge?

The “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast is many things. It’s creative, welcoming and light-hearted in a world full of podcasts that go on and on about things in a way that quickly makes listeners (like me) lose interest. Yet, most of all, it’s authentic. Much of this authenticity comes from the host herself. Heller isn’t your typical Los Angeles big shot. She’s not condescending, she doesn’t have some long-winded list for aspiring creatives to tick off in order to achieve their dreams.

Throughout her podcast, she shares her own experiences of becoming a songwriter and licensing her music — more importantly, she talks about how she got the record deal she wanted and how it wasn’t what it was made out to be. She is honest about the process of working towards the dream job you aspire to — everything about her podcast screams about honesty, integrity and passion. 

Heller’s approach is refreshing in a world where it seems impossible to do what you really want as a career. She not only encourages listeners to do what they want but provides them with tangible tools and business ideas to do so. In her very first episode of the podcast, “Turning Your Dream Job into a Reality,” from over three years ago, Heller states very clearly, “I want everyone to get to walk around feeling excited about life.” Dreams are not something far out of reach and she wants us all to be able to achieve ours.

Passion, grit, resourcefulness and more are the basis of what any creative needs to make it in the world. The podcast, for me, was a gentle reminder that what I want to do may not drop into my lap the moment I walk across that graduation stage — but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever get there. The truth of the matter is that all creatives — and those in other careers too — need to work twice as hard to be resourceful and prove themselves. The path isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Heller is just one example of this mindset and I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon this podcast when I needed it the most. Things are still uncertain and terrifying, but my confidence in myself has only strengthened. 

I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but I can’t recommend binging this one enough. It’s not just for those in similar predicaments to me — but for anyone who needs a little pat on the back, some words of encouragement and the promise that nothing is too far out of reach. 


Best Episode

Season 1, Episode 1, “Turning Your Dream Job into a Reality” is my favorite episode. Since the episodes are on the lengthy side, I have just started to make my way through the first season. The later episodes in the podcast feature different creative experts that Heller interviews, but this first episode not only draws listeners into the podcast — it inspires them. 


Similar Shows

“Goal Digger” by Jenna Kutcher and “Being Boss: Mindset, Habits, Tactics and Lifestyle for Creative Entrepreneurs” by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. 


Trigger Warnings

No trigger warnings are associated with this podcast. 


“Don’t Keep Your Day Job”

5 out of 5 stars

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other networks.

There are currently four seasons with 245 episodes available ranging from 45-80 minutes long. This podcast is continuously updated and there is a Facebook group available for people who want to connect with Heller and other listeners.


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