‘Loving Your Job’ Maybe The Wrong Message?


How’s the job going? Enjoying your work? What about the people you work with, the commute to and from the workplace and the atmosphere?

For some people the job they do has to be fulfilling and they have to love the work they do. From their perspective, if they are going to be working for years in a job they do 7 hours or more a day and the job doesn’t provide them with real satisfaction and reward, why do it? It can be difficult for these people to understand how others can go to work day in and day out and NOT love the work they do.

There are many however who don’t feel they have to be in love with their jobs. Their work might be necessary, even vitally important, but they sure wouldn’t ever try to convince themselves or others that they love their jobs. No, these folks might value the security of a job, maybe it’s stable hours and benefits, but the work itself isn’t of prime importance to them personally.

We have to be careful I believe in the message we spread as Employment Counsellors and Advisors. Come to think of it, it goes well beyond just this profession. No matter who we are or the job in which we toil, it is vitally important we recognize that the messages we pass on be sensitive and helpful.

So for example, telling a group of unemployment people that they should ultimately be looking for work that pays well, offers security and they should keep searching until they find both of these things while doing work they really love and feel good about doing might be poor advice. Might we only be setting some up to pass on work that is financially rewarding and secure but scores low on the, “I love my job” factor?

Worse yet is the person who takes a decent job with relative hopes of advancement but quits because they’ve had it hammered home that they should love their job and the work in that entry-level job just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the job they’d love to do actually is two promotions away, but their seeming impatience with the two jobs they’d need to be in line for the position are two jobs they won’t do.

One last group to make the point are the young people who are doing jobs they love that come with long hours, little to average pay, but they love it. The pressure and stress of having to somehow, ‘measure up’ and take a ‘serious’ job might also cause them stress as they try to meet others expectations instead of their own.

Now it would be nice of course if we all loved the work we did, got paid well to do it, had some security if we wanted that and our futures were bright. However, that opinion might not be everyone’s. No, there are some people who like variety, don’t want security at all and thrive on change so they look for contract jobs exclusively.

There are some people too who don’t really understand this whole, “You have to love what you do” sentiment. They scratch there heads and ask why someone putting in a sewer line and hooking up water supplies has to love their job. They might make the case that they do what they do because the pay is good, the job stable, the work is needed. ‘Loving the job’ is not only not required, it’s not even on their radar 90% of the time.

Yes I think we should be cautious with this, “you’ve got to keep looking for work until you find what it is you love” message. And it comes in different forms doesn’t it? There’s the message that goes, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. There are many people who work daily – work very hard daily – and they are completely satisfied with themselves at the end of the day precisely because the work was tough and they rose to the challenge.

We all have varying views on so many things in life, is it really any wonder than that we should have varying views on the importance of job happiness; loving our work? Oh to be sure I imagine there are times when everyone re-evaluates where they are, where they see themselves going and what could or might be down the road. Forward planning is something people do to varying degrees largely dependent upon where they find themselves in life both chronologically and geographically.

Do you have to love your job? I don’t think it’s a definitive yes. I’ve been successful in many jobs and careers over the years across different fields of work. Not all those jobs turned my ‘job satisfaction meter’ all the way to, “LOVE MY JOB”, but I was good at them.

My point is that spreading the message you have to find a job you love could actually be the wrong message for some people; setting them up for unnecessary stress. If loving your job works for you (and I do love my work) maybe that’s a bonus for you as it is for me.

Being good at a job need not mean we love our jobs, and that shouldn’t make the jobs – or the people who do them – any less fulfilled or valued.

 

 

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