Is Hobbyist a Dirty Word? Are you are professional Tarot Reader or a Hobbyist?
|October 26, 2010||Filled under Tarot, Career, Life|
By pure definition of what “professional” means, one could be considered “professional” in the way that you approach your readings in a “professional” manner but not likely a “professional reader” in the classical sense.
What does that mean?
Generally speaking, working your skills in a professional manner indicates you want to make a living (part time or full time) from doing what you do. It also means studying your craft, having a code you work by, having expertise, and more responsibility. Responsibility is very key.
If we think of other “learned professionals” — doctors, lawyers, therapists, accountants — we can note that if they do work-for-free or less, it’s because the client can not afford their services and they want to help out. They generally don’t work entirely free for everyone. Instead of donations, it’s usually either entirely free or a sliding scale. Now if you are a “tip jar” kind of reader and it ends up netting you some real cash that’s financially supportive, I would say you have hooked on a great marketing and pricing technique that works for you so I wouldn’t change a thing. I go one step further in saying: Tell us your secret!!
Donations are generally geared to people who just love doing what they do irrespective of whether they get paid or not. It’s not something they do to make sure the bills get paid so they can accept “donations”. What comes to mind when I think donations? On-line software programs, a very cool web site, outdoor play in the summer or low key theatre, etc.. Often, what they offer of their own freewill (with no strings attached) may not be appreciated by the masses but they want to do it anyway. They usually do it and hope for the best financially but if they get nothing, it doesn’t bother them because they are doing it “for the love, not a living”.
Donations, in my opinion, can also “cheapen” and “devalue” the craft. The general public has a way with “well she did if for free or tips, why don’t you?” even though they can afford the services. *shrugs* I have come across this far too many times… human behaviour, I guess. If you can get it for nothing, then why not?!
Hobbyists (among other things) pay to enter shows and contests, get stuff for their interest, and rarely think about making money from it until enough people tell them to make money from it or they are extremely cash strapped and they are searching for what they can get paid for — then they begin to explore making money from their hobby.
We could say a professional pays for things like trade shows, nominations, etc.. too but it’s not the same thing because the outcome is usually not just to enjoy and potentially be recognized but to earn some future income from “expenses” incurred in offering their services and doing the/their best in their field.
It’s like people think the word “Hobbyist” is a dirty word or something and “Professional” is somehow Queen, it isn’t.
Professionals are usually held to a different set of standards from someone outside of themselves. I’m a CPTR, Certified Professional Tarot Reader and while on one hand I couldn’t care less about certification the other hand recognizes that I have been approved by my peers (whom I don’t know) who has said I’m a professional and therefore the general public may take me more seriously and feel more confident in my ability to read for them professionally.
Lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, etc.. usually have government laws and certification process they have to go through. They can not practice until someone else has “approved” their ability, skill, and has sworn in their professional conduct. This is for the safety of the general public.
There are a lot of expenses, commitment, and responsibility to being a professional “anything” so I personally can’t understand why a reader would want to call themselves professional yet not care about earning a profit.
There are also a few meanings of the word “professional” so this is probably “another” reason why it gets all debatable. Behaving in a professional way has nothing to do with being a professional “anything”. One is based on social standards in business and the other is based on having a code, expertise, and focused on earning a profit from the skills and knowledge learned and studied (usually for the purpose of earning a future living but not always as is the case when one goes from hobbyist to professional as a perfectly marvelous and happy afterthought!).
Can someone who calls themselves professional but doesn’t care about profit give me some clue why that is? By many legal standards a professional is someone who is focused on earning a profit; a hobbyist does not focus on earring a profit. What do you think?
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