There are a great many people who are strongly advocating that people without a job should take the time to figure out what they’d love doing and then go for it. On the surface of things, it sounds like good advice. There is an inherent danger in those words being misunderstood however.
I’m going to run the risk of over-generalizing but in previous generations, it appears that many young adults found work any way they could get it. The idea of finding work you were passionate about for the working class just wasn’t in. Today, more young adults are being told, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Make no mistake however; all jobs are hard work if you really want to be successful. Physical jobs require physical strain and it’s hard work requiring strength and endurance. Some jobs require work of a cerebral nature; they can be mentally exhausting; a different kind of work to be sure but work nonetheless.
If you loathe your job, you’ll have to work at psyching yourself up just to go to work, and work at getting through your day. You’ll equally find in a job you love that you work hard to produce things better, more creatively, keeping things fresh, innovative and wanting to stay on the cutting edge of your field.
Work requires work. However, some people today – predominately transitioning from school to those first few years of full-time employment, have received or misinterpreted the, “you can be anyone and do anything” message.
When family and friends say that you can do anything you put your mind to and to find work you love, they don’t mean that you should ONLY do work you are infatuated with and at all cost avoid hard work. There are in fact many people – some would say the majority – who don’t love everything about their work but do it anyhow.
Some in previous generations had to quit school to support their families during a depression. Work was scarce, employment lines long. You took whatever work was offered to you and you were happy to have it because it meant you had money for food and rent. The kinds of jobs you could actually hope to hold were fewer.
In 2015 first-world countries, the standards of living we enjoy mean there are thousands of jobs out there which didn’t even exist 20, 10 even 5 years ago. Much of that credit goes to technology and innovation. With so many new careers springing up, it isn’t any real surprise that people have more options for work. Older generations who didn’t have all these opportunities and who know the drudgery of doing work they didn’t love, want to ensure that the young people in their lives find work they really are passionate about and love. Hence the advice to find a job you love.
However, if you think that this means, never do any job you are flat-out bonkers over, you’re making a mistake in my opinion. Unless you actually do a job, you can’t possibly know what aspects of the job you don’t enjoy, and you might find part or all of the work you thought you’d hate, you actually don’t.
Many work at jobs they wouldn’t define as their dream job. I can tell you there are some who do work at their dream job and it’s not quite as beautiful and attractive as it sounded when they didn’t have it. So the University grad who is going to set young minds on fire gets disillusioned when they can’t ignite students in their classes who find the teacher and learning boring. The young theatre school grad who dreams of the accolades of a full house raining down applause on them suddenly realizes the parts are few and far between and being an usher or running the bar in the lobby is as close to the stage as they might ever get. It takes work.
You may know of someone who will help you along, get you in the front door, even lobby for you to get that job you want so very much. That’s great. You will however, have to work hard to keep that job, and may find you must work harder than others to keep it once you have it.
The worst job of all? Again it’s my opinion, but the worst jobs are the ones where things come easy with no effort exerted to be successful. I’ll not name any specific job as that might insult those in it, but imagine a job where you use few brain cells or physical strength; you learn little because things come so easily so you don’t know what your limits are. Now imagine yourself doing that job until retirement. That would be a poor existence indeed; that would take work of a different nature.
My advice is to do a variety of things early. As you work, note what you like and love, just as you should note what you don’t. If you find work you love and get paid well to do – fantastic! If you find work you love that doesn’t pay overly well, you’ll be happy but never well off perhaps. Remember what someone loves, another dislikes. We’re built differently and think differently. So just because someone says, you’d love their job and should follow their footsteps doesn’t mean it will turn out the same for you as it did them.