“I don’t like work – no [one] does – but I like what is in the work, the chance to find yourself. Your own reality – for yourself, not for others – what no other [human being] can ever know.”
– Heart of Darkness by author Joseph Conrad found in Chic & Slim Toujours by Anne Barone
Work and play. Sometimes equated to bad and good, or sad and happy, or boring and fun, or restrictive and free. The idea being we shouldn’t look forward to work or enjoy it all that much because well . . . that would be crazy to enjoy something you have to do! Or would it be?
Beginning with Generation X and continuing on to subsequent generations, the message has always been – find your passion and you won’t have to work a day in your life. While it is vital that we discover what makes us perk up, remained engrossed for hours when others would have clocked out long before, it is also important to be reminded that even when we love our jobs, there will be aspects or times when it’s not easy. After reading an article in the Sunday Style section of the New York Times a few weeks ago, I was reminded of something that must always be kept in mind. Often our “dream” job will keep us far busier than our 9-5 job that while not as satisfying, puts food on the table. Ironically enough, all but one of the workers interviewed in this article still enjoyed and preferred their dream job over their previous job despite the extra time and often less pay that came with it.
Why is that? How could someone possibly choose to work more hours than are required? Quite simply, once you discover your purpose and then a way to offer it to others to earn money for your life while aiding your customers’ lives – it’s a win, win – a grand, somewhat elusive marriage that is seen, at least in my yes, as a gift and shouldn’t be lightly tossed aside.
Along the road to discovering a job that creates this connection, you will work jobs that are difficult to be inspired about. I look back on all of the summer, college and side jobs I had prior to the career I am now in and I am thankful, because as I’ve listed below, there is value and something to be appreciative of in any work you are involved in, whether it is your dream job or the job that will lead to your dream job. First and for most these jobs help you to appreciate the next job you want to seek when you land it, but they also teach you how to work hard, pay your dues and not take anything for granted. Always look for the lesson, but also know that loving work is not something to feel guilty about because it allows you to live the life of your dreams, may introduce you to people who will be a part of your life for many years to come and has the potential to leave a legacy that will never be forgotten.
17 Reasons to Love Your Work:
1. A means to pay the bills
3. Access to new opportunities
4. A routine that helps establish peace of mind
5. The ability to afford your hobbies and favorite pastimes
6. The ability to provide a service that helps others
7. Non-monetary benefits (health care, paid vacations, free access to special events, insider’s knowledge, paid sick leave, etc)
8. A vessel to learn and expand understanding
9. A place to interact with diverse people and build social relationships – networking, possible friendships, etc.
10. A means to challenge yourself
11. Opportunity to test your skills
12. Potential for building confidence
13. A place to learn about yourself – your strengths, your weaknesses and how to overcome or improve them
14. Access to possible mentors
15. Paid lunches and/or breaks
16. Learning how to work with a variety of different personalities
17. Experience that will help you appreciate where you want to be once you arrive
“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.”