We’re all told to do what we love. If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. The only way to do is great work is to do what you love. Find your passion and turn it into a career.
But frankly, it can feel exhausting.
Many of us feel like we set ourselves on a path ever since we chose our high school electives, to follow the linear way to a uni degree, to a carer, and the straight and narrow path of climbing the corporate ladder. But who knew what they truly wanted at the age of 16?
Now, with a whole new world of opportunities, new careers popping up that hadn’t existed before, and emerging ways of working that flip everything we know on its head, we’ve never had more power to choose to do what we love. We are empowered and able to pursue new and different avenues that can be more aligned with our values, to create projects that we are passionate about. But is that enough?
Few of us are lucky to truly line up our work with our passions.
For one, it takes a work to discover and rediscover what sets a fire in our belly and can make us feel the satisfaction that we seek. It’s not like they sit bubbling away, waiting until we suddenly get on some reality TV show to pursue our lifelong cooking dreams on Masterchef, or singing career on The Voice.
We put so much pressure on finding our true calling, it can be hard to recognise that sometimes it’s just a lot of meaningful calls, sporadically ringing throughout your life.
Secondly, we still want to live comfortably and be able to enjoy the things that even the best job in the world could not give. From long vacations to things as menial as rent or small as a self-care facial, it is hard to ignore the fact that sometimes, we’ve got to do what we have to do to have some money to spend. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
In finding work we love, we’ve misplaced the importance of still maintaining work-life balance.
As much as we love a job, it is still important to take some time for ourselves and make sure we prioritise self-care. Just because a job can make us feel like we aren’t working, doesn’t mean that it can justify us dedicating all our days to the task.
On the flip side, it can make us focus on the negatives too much. We find that we do not build the resilience to get through the hard times if we are constantly trying to understand if it means its a sign that we should quit.
We begin to question every bad day, every stressful email; asking ourselves whether or not this means we’re not in a fulfilling career and we should be following the path of entrepreneurs everywhere building businesses from the ground up based on their random side hobbies. It’s hard to distinguish between the natural ebbs and flows that come from work and realising that we are on the wrong path.
The fact is: finding a job you love won’t magically restore your relationship with work.
It’s like a quote I saw the other day at a Creative Mornings presentation:
It’s just like that old saying: “Do what you love for a living and the increasingly unclear distinction between your personal and professional identity will make it extremely difficult to feel emotionally secure at basically any point in the process.”
A chorus of nervous laughter went around the room of creatives who, like me, had been well indoctrinated into the promise of side hustles and designing a life we love. There’s something to be said about the predictability of the conventional jobs and not putting your heart on the line for a career you love.
So, take a breather and relieve the pressure of having to love your job. Passion itself will never be enough to drive your work through. Rather, make sure you understand the role that work plays in your life.
- If it’s the means by which you earn enough to enjoy the other pleasures in life, that’s ok. Make sure you leave it at the office so you can enjoy your life and follow your passions outside of work.
- If you are working on something you’re passionate about, make sure you’re still taking care of yourself. Enforce your own mental health policy and make sure that work-life balance is still a priority.
- If you love your job, be ok if some days you don’t. It can’t always be smooth sailing but remember why you started and what drives you to keep going.
At the end of the day, you are so much more than your job; and while it is an amazing thing to find a job that you love, it’s ok if it doesn’t always feel like it. Find passion in your life and make sure you’re working towards your goals, even if it lives outside of the office. Take it easy and find love in your life, wherever it may come.
I’m Tiff and I’m passionate about empowering people to tell their stories in meaningful and creative ways. A year ago, I quit my corporate job in Sydney, Australia to travel and pursue my own projects. Now, as a location-independent freelancer, I can’t imagine going back. As a writer, I love being able to share my stories and struggles with the emerging remote working community. I haven’t got it all figured out and constantly feel like I’m flying blind, but I’m excited to be giving myself the space to do so. You can find out more on my website, from Instagram or Twitter.
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