Is It Necessary To Love Your Job?

So what do you think; yes or no?

There are people who have as long as they can remember, always wanted to ‘be’ whatever the job is they now hold. They told their moms and dads, aunts and uncles, “When I grow up I’m going to be a ______” and they never deviated from that goal. It’s not that they didn’t learn about other jobs and careers, it’s just that as they did so, whenever they compared the pros and cons of those jobs to their previous goal, they always chose the original one.

If you’re one of these folks, I sure hope that the work you do as an adult is bringing you all the joy and happiness that you imagined it would. It wouldn’t be the end of the world to change your career goal as you mature and possibly discover new interests and develop new skills that lead you in other directions. However, it would be quite sad if for some reason you found the job you’d fell in love with was much more attractive in thought rather than reality and you’ve done nothing to alter your career path.

The experience I’ve described; knowing from a very young age what you wanted to do in life and realizing that dream is the experience of a minority of people I imagine. I mean it’s far more likely that as we grow up and become more and more exposed to different kinds of jobs the likelihood that our interests catch fire with things we previously didn’t consider is high. Yes, for most of the general population, we not only become exposed to different careers and jobs, we imagine what they would be like to hold down personally, and from time-to-time we pursue these because they are more attractive than the jobs we hold.

But love? I mean with a capital, “L”? Is it necessary to Love your work in order to be and feel successful? Is it possible to do a job well and be paid a good wage but not be passionate about the work itself? Sure it is. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there are a great many people who are good at what they do precisely because the money is good but, love their job? No way. So why would they stay in these jobs they don’t love? Uh, that would be because the money meets their needs and they can do the work required, so like Meatloaf the singer belted out, they’ve come to feel that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

You have to appreciate and be happy though for the ones that have it all; a perfect 3 for 3. They perform their work extremely well, the money they are paid meets their wants and needs, AND they love the work they do. Boy are they lucky eh? (For my international readers, adding, ‘eh’ to the end of a sentence reveals me as a true Canadian! It’s kind of our way of saying, “you agree with me right?” or “you get it right?”)

Ah but wait; is it luck or is it that they’ve put in the work and made the decisions necessary that put them in the right position to take advantage of the opportunities Life brought their way? I suspect it’s the latter not the former. It might look like they got lucky but actually it meant being focused, making good decisions and when faced with problems and challenges they found ways to overcome those through hard work and always keeping their end goals in mind whenever they felt like giving up. Yes, I suspect they’d say luck had very little to do with their success.

So now I pose a question to you; if you’re not in love with your work, are you content to go on with things the way they are or, for you personally is loving what you do important enough that you’re prepared to actually DO something different to bring about change? Change after all is what’s required if 2 out of 3 isn’t good enough.

You can take the position that in 2017 jobs are so hard to come by you should just take whatever you can and love for your work is a thing of the past. If you believe that, I’m sorry to say that I personally feel you’re wrong; your own experiences may have jaded your view of things. The way I see it, there are 7 hours a day in a full-time job x 5 days in a traditional work week x perhaps 49 work weeks in a year for a total of 1,715 hours a year you’re on the job. That’s a lot of time to be occupied doing something you love doing or just endure. If you’re not in agreement that finding work you love to do is worth seeking out, you’re taking the position that 49 weeks of enduring work is a good trade-off for 3 weeks of doing what you love on your vacation. You really buy that?

So do you HAVE to LOVE your work? Absolutely not.

Or, is loving what you do; really LOVING what you do going to elevate your happiness and personal satisfaction making those 49 weeks and 1,715 hours a pleasurable experience? Absolutely yes.

Are you prepared to put in the work to bring about the change from your present circumstances to realize the job you’d LOVE to do? This my reader, is THE question.


One thought on “Is It Necessary To Love Your Job?

  1. Kelly, it is absolutely necessary and beneficial to LOVE your work. Too often, people spend decades of their life in a career or menial job that does not “feed the soul” or fulfill them. Just as you mentioned, most people have a preconceived image or childhood fantasy (“when I grow up, I will become a cop”)of how superb their life will be when they land that dream job . But oh, how different the job is, once you get on site for training. A person might not be tough enough, or mentally equipped, to be an officer of the law. So much violence and gruesome reality is encompassed in that career. Many take their work home, revisit all the gory details, and some develop PTSD or end up taking their life (not to be morbid here, but you catch the drift). There should be a certain amount of joy or at least mental competence for someone heading to work, rather than dreading it each morning.

    On the other hand, many people stay in their job, 30 years or so, with their eye on the prize — that fat pension cheque. Most hang on till the bitter end…just five more years…just three more…
    Not saying that jobs cushioned with a pension are run-of-the-mill, but let’s account for some of the people stuck in those jobs who are staying for that reason (ie: I’ve known government workers with a spring in their step and a beaming smile on their face, who LOVE their jobs, and it’s infectious. I’ve also witnessed some who were the textbook definition of MISERY).

    At any rate, to get back to the original question. I believe, yes, one SHOULD love their work. Those 49 weeks a year (1,715 hours) are a helluva lot of minutes wasted away on doing tasks that don’t feed the soul. What if there was “something more” out there for us? I’d love to wake up with a spring in my step and infectious smile for all to see. What if we were locked into a menial job that didn’t bring us bliss? What if our perfect job was out there, and we didn’t take a chance on fate? Perhaps we will never truly know how to reach our greatest potential, if all we do is SETTLE for the “safe” option and (like you said) the mentality that in 2017 “jobs are hard to come by” so I might as well just bite the bullet and grab what I can so I don’t starve.
    For the record, I was never happy just flipping burgers or cleaning toilets(although I was a house cleaner for 2 years). I’ve tried on many hats, from retail, to factory, to office work, etc. The one that stuck most with me and brings me most joy is the one that defined me since I was 7 years old. Yes, I always come back to this one. No matter how many jobs I’ve held, just to make ends meet, I always flashback to that little girl who had a beaming smile and a dream (“when I grow up, I want to be…”).

    This has made all the difference. 🙂


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