Ever heard any of these adages about having a job you love? (Either these exact words or something similar to it)
“Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a single day in your life.”
“You need to be passionate about your job to produce good results and sustain your career for a long time.”
“It’s better to get a job that you are passionate about and be paid less than to be miserable earning so much money doing the job you hate.”
These are probably some of the biggest lies I’ve heard about having a career you love (especially the first one). As much as Recruiters like myself propagate that we will find you a job that you love, the reality is that not everyone gets the opportunity to do something they both like and can make money out of (For whatever reason). In fact, I would think this is an exception, but we make it seem like the rule.
These are the realities of my work life:
The jobs I think I would love are to be a Writer or Psychologist.
I currently do not make a living out of these interests.
There are moments when it’s hard to love my job.
Is that alright? For me, yes.
Although I used to and still get jealous of people who are doing their dream jobs, I’ve accepted that it’s not necessary to love the job you have from day 1, or even at all.
There is a difference between doing something that you are passionate about versus doing a job that brings in the money. Some of us may not even be good enough in doing what we like to get paid for it. In other cases, the job we love entails lots of grunt work and challenges that will ruin our love for the craft if there is money (or less money) attached to it.
So you’re stuck in this job that you don’t like, or used to like your job and now hate it. What should you do then?
If you are in this situation, there are two things you should know by heart: (If not, it is time you start making changes.)
- What is your goal for doing your job?
- What is the value/purpose/meaning of this job that you’re doing?
I’m sure that the majority of us have had days when everything about our jobs is going south. The end-goal and the value/purpose/meaning of your job are what will keep you going through the highs and the lows. It doesn’t matter what your answers are. As long as you have answers and they are solid enough for you, you can use it as a guiding light to make it through the hard times.
Besides the above, I would recommend that you pursue those interests if you can outside of work. That way, you still get to do it and have the best of both worlds even if your passion is not your bread and butter.
Should you continue the quest to find a career that you are passionate about?
I am not discouraging you from your pursuit. If it’s feasible, can sustain your lifestyle and support your loved ones, fine. On the flip side, since I have a different life experience, I would prefer to keep my day job and interests separate. Keeping them apart allows me to act on them without the pressures that I face in my day job. For example, writing as a hobby allows me to express myself without being restricted. Most of all, writing as a hobby means I have something to turn to and utilize my energy into something meaningful and stress relieving when the going gets tough in my day job.
Overall, I don’t believe we are not doing well in life if you’re not in love with your job. Not every one of us is #blessed and has the same privileges and opportunities as others who can do it. However, finding meaning in what we have and compensating for what we don’t have will allow us to be as blessed and satisfied in our lives as those who are living the dream.