I am kind of obsessed with the idea of loving my job. Out of my 7 job/career changes, I’d say 5 or 6 were motivated by the fact that I didn’t love what I was doing. I’ve now had enough jobs to understand that it’s impossible (and just plain silly) to expect to love everything about my job, but I still believe that spending 10 hours a day doing something that doesn’t tickle my mind/heart/soul in some way is a sad notion.
My mom thinks I am nuts. A job is a job, it’s a way you make a living and it doesn’t have to be fulfilling or something you’re passionate about, she says. Trying to love what you do for work is too frustrating and it’s better to focus on stability, having time outside of work to actually have a life, and, of course, making a solid income. I disagree, but I can’t ignore her because my mom is one of the wisest people I know. And while what she says seems to counter every bit of career advice that wants to help us find a job we love, I know where she is coming from. She is a realist and she hates setting expectations which will disappoint.
We had a few friends over the other day and got to talking about our jobs. Out of the 12 or so people in the room, all in their early to mid-30s, only two said they loved what they were doing and more than half said they really didn’t like it. So I asked those who were unhappy at work whether how it impacted their life — only one person said it made her miserable overall.
I was jealous. My job satisfaction has a lot to do with my life satisfaction. I actually wish it weren’t so and that I could separate work/other parts of my life a bit better. And while my daughter’s smile can erase a horrible work week, if I am not enjoying my work I am quite grumpy.
So I am curious — do you think it’s important to love your job (OK, really really like your job)?