Artisan Spirit: Summer 2015

Page 58


or a majority of craft distillers, holding a day job while working at their own distillery is a fact of life. Often this transition from a day job other than distilling into being a full-time distiller occurs over a gradual shift in time. From being employed by someone

else or working in another field to eventually moving into full-time distilling, the journey can be long and laboring…but (hopefully) lovely. Several of our comrades in distilling graciously shared their experiences, thoughts, and advice on the transition from Day Job to Distilling. We procured benefits, drawbacks, and advice from our friends in the craft world that have already made (or are in the process of making) the transition.

INCOME SECURITY: Nothing is better than knowing that paycheck is still making its way to your bank account on a regular schedule. Financial security is a big concern for many people—money causes a lot of stress and a day job can alleviate that pain.



of sticking with the day job...

HEALTHCARE: It’s surely nice to know that if you or a family member is injured, you have that cushion of healthcare to take care of the need. Injuries and illnesses can flatten a bank account— insurance can shield that blow.

If you’re getting a paycheck from another source, you aren’t in the FAMILY IS position that you need to necessarily PROVIDED FOR: The pay yourself—this makes it day job paycheck? It puts possible to put more money back food on the table, takes care of into the distillery since you have your mortgage, and keeps your your income taken care of by family happy. The kids won’t another source. have to go without shoes, most likely.


We’re not getting younger, are we? Many day jobs provide money to our 401K HIRE AND funds. Distilling doesn’t exactly DELEGATE: If you YOU’RE HOW provide this—unless you’re can, hire someone to help with PART OF A CLUB: good at planning ahead the distillery. Find dependable TO WORK A majority of craft distillers and remember to set employees that are smart and YOUR WAY have other jobs or make a some $$$ aside for responsible. They can be your transition from a day job to OUT... your future. biggest asset, and can save distilling. It’s incredibly common your ass(et) in a pinch while you’re to be working somewhere else FLEXIBILITY: busy at the day job. as you’re getting up and If your day job has some running in craft spirit ORGANIZE AND PLAN: Keep a schedule that flexibility, that’s awesome! If not, see production. maps out your work with both your day job if you can find some ways to negotiate with and your distillery, and remember to project forward what will be happening for your distilling schedule. Also, set up separate social media and email accounts to stay organized.

BE TRANSPARENT: Your distilling job and day job will collide. Be honest with your employer about what you are doing in your “free time.” They’ll appreciate your honesty and will be more likely to have grace when you find yourself in a distilling emergency.

your employer for increased flexibility. Could you take some overtime one week in exchange for a lighter load another week so your mash schedule is manageable? You might be surprised what you’d be allowed to do if you just ask.

HAVE INTEGRITY: Don’t forget who’s paying you that check each month. You’ve been hired to do a job—do what’s expected of you, and be honest and honorable. Your employer will appreciate this.


Work with your employer to develop a strategy for you leaving the day job. Maybe this is a 3-6 year plan of where you gradually move away from being a key player in the organization. Find common ground that you can agree on—this will give you a plan of what to be working towards and will put your employer’s mind at ease regarding your commitment to your work.