July 19, 2012, 6:00 am

Do You Have to Actually Enjoy Your Job?

by: MD    Category: Career
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If you read this blog or follow any related sites, you’ll know all about the idea of “following your passions.” You know that you have to do what you love or you’re going to have a miserable life (or something like that). You’re supposed to do work that you enjoy. If you have a bad day at work, don’t feel fulfilled, or aren’t happy with something, the only solution is to quit and follow your passions.

Lately I’ve been presented with the other side of the coin. I’ve been in touch with friends that are not into doing work that they enjoy. They just want to get paid and move on with life once their shift is over.

Do you have to follow your passions? What if you just want to make money?

I wanted to share quick anti-following-your-passions story…

I was talking to a friend about work. He used to be into the idea of enjoying your work and doing cool work. Then he found a high paying job that he doesn’t really care for. Actually, to be honest, I don’t think he likes the job at all. He doesn’t like the work and never talks about the actual job itself.

When I was talking to him about work and money, he made it clear that he doesn’t care about what he does. He says that he only wants to work his 8 hours and then have fun when he’s out of work. He doesn’t want to think about work all of the time. To him a job is just a place you go to work and then leave when the clock says it’s time to go.

This makes perfect sense to me. Not everyone wants to follow their passions, travel the world, or be self-employed. We all have different goals and ideas of what we want out of life.

This is why I launched Start Freelancing Now. I think it’s totally foolish to just randomly jump into some random project without planning for it. This is only possible if you live at home, don’t have any expenses, and don’t care about your savings. I believe that you should keep your current job, while you try to build up your savings and make money on the side.

Do you have to actually enjoy your job?

I’m a bit torn on this one. I don’t think that you should be miserable at your job. I personally think that there’s nothing more annoying than those people that go on Facebook every single Monday morning to complain about how much they hate work. What kind of life is that? If you have to complain every single moment about your job, then I truly feel that you should at least try to find a way out.

I guess it all depends on your views and your upbringing. In some cultures it’s an honor to work. In other cultures, work is something that you do for a small amount of time during the day, while you spend the rest of your time with family. Some families raise their kids to only have a prestigious job and nothing else. We all have different views on work and how we make money.

It’s time to ask the readers– do you have to actually enjoy your job and what you do? Would you be willing to work a job that you don’t care for to make good money?

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Hey Martin,

Great question! I think that you can work without being in love with your job. As long as the job is “okay” and well paid, I think one can do it for a while (maybe all his life!).

I’m lucky to be able to work in a field that I like and that is well paid. On the other side, my wife didn’t have this luck (she used to work in a daycare). She enjoyed her job but it was very demanding and the pay check that comes with it is not very high.

You don’t have to like your job to live a great life as long as you can pursue your passion once your shift is over. If you job enables you to have fun the rest of the time and you can live with it, I think you are already better than 50% of the population 🙂

I hope my job rewards me! But I don’t believe you need to love your job in order to do it. I like my job and I get paid well. Everyone has different priorities or wishes.
My hubby wants to pursue a career he enjoys (not sure what it is yet).
Thankfully, due to my career we are in a position where he can do that. I am not really sure where he is going to end up though.

I am an accountant and my job isn’t horrible. It pays well and has reasonable expectations. Much better than public accounting to be sure.

Your job cannot be the source of pain. Other than that, no, you don’t need to love it.

While you don’t have to enjoy or love all parts of your work, I think that there should be some enjoyment there (at least from time to time). For instance, I don’t necessarily enjoy all my work, but I do enjoy get to know some people and I am actually enjoying learning some new skills along the way.

For many years I did something that I “liked” but not “loved.” It paid the bills. And it takes a huge amount of effort to change career tracks.

Long story short, I stuck with what I “liked” to build a stable financial ground. Then, just really the past two years, I have focused on switching to something else that I “like more.” And I am finding that I’m able to do this, without taking an income hit. “Like more” will progressively turn into “absolutely love,” and I’ll be naturally pulled enough to be the very best in the world at it. That’s the plan anyway.

I thinking is to do something you like, not necessarily love. If you enjoy what you do then chances are you’ll be good at it. If you’re good at your work then the money should come anyway. I have a job in the art industry. It doesn’t pay much, but since I can easily save 50% of my income, I’m happy where I am.

I think I am one of those rare people that actually really like where they work. For me, it has to do with what I am doing and the intangibles like professional autonomy.

Probably OK to suck it up in the beginning, but after a while, i don’t think it’s OK. We got one life to live!

I think its important to like your job, but the perfect job that you love every day of is not a reality. I live by the motto, ‘Work to Live not Live to Work’. That said, the more passionate you are about your job, the better your overall quality of life will be. So all in all, I think its important to like your job, but at a certain point you have to stop chasing down the perfect job and work with what you’ve got.

I LOVE my job. I am thankful I get paid decently to do the kind of stuff I do for fun, more or less.

That said, will I stay in this industry forever? I’m not sure. I don’t want to climb a corporate ladder, and in fact don’t want to join the corporate world, but perhaps at some point the potential for more income doing something else may become more tempting.

Life’s too short to hate your job but I also don’t believe that following your passion is the right answer for everyone, is my take.

I don’t think you have to love your job as long as it’s a means to an end. It can lead to other things. It may provide insurance and other important things in the meantime. But, you don’t have to love it.

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