We are told in so many ways to choose to do something that we love to make our living. It has become almost a cliché.
“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”
~ George Burns
Is finding work that you love one of our modern myths? It certainly can be tremendously helpful to feel positive about your work because we spend a great deal of our time working. But plenty of people have found a way to be capable at work that is probably just a means to an end.
Is it possible to excel at something that you hate enough to be successful doing it? I’ve noticed in myself and those around me that we usually stay where we feel valued and we think that we can provide value to others. That doesn’t mix with deep dislike in my book.
My first job was babysitting. A pretty standard method of earning money for a girl back in the day – not as much now, I think. It helped that I was the oldest girl on a block with plenty of kids. I had a great career for a few years until the opportunities kind of drifted away as the kids got older and I got involved in high school activities. I did love to babysit. I miss spending time with kids.
Next I got into food service. It was a relatively easy job to get without much experience, but not one that I was particularly good at because I just wanted to earn some money. I also did not fit in particularly. But food service jobs were available so I got one after another for a period of time.
A lot about the jobs that you get has to do with expediency, not love. I probably would have been better suited to general office work but I had no clue how to obtain such a job.
Along the line, I took a brief stab at retail work in a small shop that sold natural remedies. I do have an interest in the holistic approach and in natural remedies plus it didn’t hurt that a friend already worked there. I’d tried to get retail jobs back before I got my first food service job, but no one was interested in a person without experience. It was a means to earn some money while my life was in flux.
Eventually I got an office job. I was a single mother in need of steady income and regular hours – so, highly determined that an office was a good choice. That determination looked like confidence, which I had sorely lacked in my early forays into the working world.
I didn’t love office work, I loved my boys and wanted to find balance. I wasn’t doing what I loved, but I did learn to love what I did because I found plenty of things to spark my curiosity.
Love what you do, do what you love, love why you work, love what you can do because you work to support yourself – there are plenty of options, I think.
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