Do What You Love; Bad Career Choice Says One Blogger

People are fascinating. And the way people think is even more so. As I travel I meet so many people with weird, wild ideas.

For example, last week I had a very interesting conversation with a guy who believes the world will end in 2012, global anarchy will reign before we ring in 2013 and that all the people on the planes that crashed on 9/11 are alive and sequestered somewhere. I don’t happen to agree with any of it but it made for an outrageously fun and lively discussion. As I said, people are fascinating.

And as I meet people, they also meet me. And think I have weird wild ideas.

For instance, most people don’t think feeding sharks for a living would be a fun job.  But I love what I do, being surrounded by these majestic creatures, never really knowing what is going to happen, feeling REALLY alive, blood pulsing through my veins. It’s a magnificent rush.  And just Saturday I wrote about my life as a professional shark feeder and then I came across an article telling me not to do what I love….huh?

So I read the article because what people think about fascinates me. But I so completely disagreed with her I felt the need to share.  This popular blogger wrote an article entitled,

Bad Career Advice: Do What You Love.

There were 440 comments and 2100 likes.  I’d love for you to read it.

What’s your opinion?  Should you do work you love?

In her article, she states that, “It’s absurd. If you are in touch with who you are, you are doing what you love, no matter what…..So it’s preposterous that we need to get paid to do what we love because we do that stuff anyway.”

She then goes on to use the example that she loves to have sex more than write but she’s not getting paid to have sex. (Gee, I hope not because it’s illegal most places!). She says that “Career decisions are not decisions about “what do I love most?” but what kind of life do I want to set up for myself?”

I just have to call her out on that….REALLY? Well, I want to set up the kind of life in which I’m doing what I love.

scuba diving lessons

Why wouldn't you do a job you love?

She says that people become overwhelmed with the task of “doing what you love” and maybe they should just forget it. Do anything. Doing work you love is not so important.

To me that’s settling.

So that leads me to look around at the millions of people who are unhappy in their lives because they go to a job they don’t enjoy 40+ hours a week for 40+ YEARS and don’t feel like they’ve lived the life they wanted. Many feel like they have worked for “the man” and built “the man’s” dreams instead of their own.

Why would you spend 80,000 hours of your life, yep, 40 hours/week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years NOT doing something that you love? I’m just saying……

If someone said to you, okay, you have 80,000 hours to spend. Do you want to do something you love or not? It doesn’t matter to me…you choose.

How would you choose? What’s your opinion?  Let’s stir up this pot a little!

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A day at the office

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5 Responses to Do What You Love; Bad Career Choice Says One Blogger

  1. Dani April 29, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Ha, I just laugh at this poor girl because it’s obvious she hasn’t found something she loves “enough to get paid”. I mean, that is ridiculous. I have a job I love (designing and fitting clothing) & made a nearly 20 year career enjoying myself. It hasn’t always been a walk in the park but I get to play with beautiful yarns and fabrics, create products others enjoy and honestly, it was the only thing I loved to do as a teen (draw & create) so, I made a career out of it. I kinda get what she is saying in regards to “Why do we need to get paid to do what we love?” but my counter is, “WHY NOT!?” If someone is willing to pay you to enjoy yourself and use your gifts in a way that translates to monetary value, I don’t comprehend why a human being would not take that opportunity & run. Some people just believe suffering and surviving (v/s “thriving”) are the only choices in life. I subscribe to a different philosophy that has served myself, as well as the companies I have contributed my talents to, well satisfied. And for the record, I still love painting, gallery hopping and designing on the side! Win-win 🙂

  2. Magu Bee September 25, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Wow. That article was an intriguing (and by intruiging I mean terrifying) piece of writing, seeing how it came from a person who coaches others.

    The one sentence I don’t agree most with is “So how could you possibly pick one thing you love to do?”. Who says we need to choose one thing?
    The whole concept of doing one type of work stands in complete opposition to the other thing she mentions, i.e. “We are each multifaceted, multilayered, complicated people (…)”. Most probably what you enjoy doing now is not what you’ll still enjoy doing in 2 years. Or 3 weeks, who knows? We constantly grow and change, and so can our profession. If you have 2 or 3 strong passions, why not divide your time between all of them? Or do some of this and then some of that?

    Next up, ” If you tell yourself that your job has to be something you’d do even if you didn’t get paid, you’ll be looking for a long time. Maybe forever. So why set that standard? “. Just because I might not recognise one of my passions as the thing I could be doing for a living means I should do something totally unrelated and one that I don’t enjoy? Wrong! It means I should take the immediate steps to figuring out how I can happily contribute and then build up on it.

    And then, “The reward for doing a job is contributing to something larger than you are, participating in society, and being valued in the form of money.” How can you contribute if you’re not into what you do? How can you add value to those around you if you’re not tapping into your potential but just following the advice of ” Take a job. Any job.”? There was this scene in a teen dance movie I used to love when I was young – a guy comes up to a girl and asks: “What beer are you drinking?”, to which she (not being a drinker but not wanting to admit it) responds: “I don’t know. Any beer.” His reaction is one o my favourtie lines of all time: “It shouldn’t be any beer. It should be the best beer possible.” Kind of sums up my attitude towards living life and choosing a career based on the fake idea that we should be doing our jobs just for the sake of doing them, and then maybe have a personal life if work hours allow.

    “For better or worse, we value people with money. Earn some.” Definitely not what I value people for. And, once again, this coming from a coach is wrong on so many levels I’ve no idea where to start.

  3. Clare July 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    NOT doing what you love? How sad. There is an argument for finding inner peace no matter your circumstances and being practical. I agree, but I think it is a cop out to not try at all. They are not mutually exclusive desires, but it can take time and effort to align your job with your passion. It makes you look deeper and know yourself more. I think the people who ‘poo poo’ a passionate life are the ones who have not achieved it. Doth thou protest too much! I’m 38 and I haven’t done it, but I’m embracing the challenge of knowing myself more deeply and questioning if i can DO it. I say I can…and I believe we all can, and that if we are not being ourselves every day we are not contributing our best asset to the world. Anyone can have sex and feel good and that takes two anyway! What is unique about you as an individual and makes you feel truly alive? Now there’s a question. Good luck all.

  4. Lee-Anne July 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Of course you should do what you love! Even better if you can get paid for it! Like you said, too many people HATE their jobs and are stuck because they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you really are passionate about what you love then somehow there is a way to get paid for it! You are wild and crazy Sharkman, and that is awesome!!!

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