Do what you love…for me, is a bad career advice.
How many times we find ourselves saying it to other people?
How many times have we been fed with that cliche?
Too many to count, I guess. It has become an integrated part of our growing up.
Our seniors would often highlight their success by saying they have succeeded because they are doing what they love. Don’t believe them. They are successful because they are good at what they do.
And no, they are no more lucky than you are.
Thing is, we are complicated, multi-faceted, and our interest shifts as time goes by.
We do not only love one thing.
We love a lot of things.
And how do we know what it is that we love for sure?
We love in different ways.
We love accordingly.
we love simultaneously.
We don’t deliberate and assess ourselves why we love.
We just do.
and to choose one thing that we love as a career can have its problems.
Say, sex and food. Our love for the two is something we all share.
We love sex.
We do it, but we do not get paid for it –except for the professionals.
And would you want to be one?
In my case, I’d have to lose a lot of pounds which means I must starve myself one way or another. I’m not good at that, I get grumpy when I am hungry. Customers don’t like grumpy service providers.And I love to eat… I love sweets, cutting my sugar high is just downright suicidal. Dead service provider are never hired.
And we are more than our love for sex (and of any other things we value)…at least I think I am…I hope you feel the same way too. And even if the sex industry sounds promising, not all of us who loves it are good at it.
And how can you make a career of something that you are not good at?
I tried and I downright failed miserably. I love food and don’t ask me how many times I tried learning how to cook. I just suck. Period. I almost put my mom’s kitchen on fire which is no kitchen anyway (I’m too clever to use my own kitchen hehe). And looking at people’s reactions over my cooking is just not good for the ego and self-esteem.
We love sex and we love food but we intermittently love them because we also love other things.
We don’t jump into bed with someone because the opportunity presents itself nor do we eat every food offered to us. We choose partners and we select food. We create choices and love in categories.
In some instances, we restrain. And it’s crazy but sometimes, not giving in to something we love to do has its own satisfaction.
So get over the fact that if you don’t do the things you love, you won’t be happy.
That is just bull.
If that is true, try gluttoning on sex and food for a month without a break. That should ensure one month of straight happiness. But you know what’s gonna happen. You’d lose your mind. You’d feel miserable. The things you hate, suddenly you crave just to break the monotony. By this time, you’d do anything…just anything to get away from it.
Why is it a problem to do the things you love as a career again?
It is impossible to do all the things you love.
If you still insist, I think, it would be a long unending career search. Try forever.
A career, like marriage obliges you to become loyal.
It requires you spend time with it and you are not allowed not find other mistresses. Companies call it, conflict of interest.Otherwise, it bitches and makes you feel incompetent. It asks for your devotion and once you give it, it opens up unending opportunities for you. And if you love so many things, monogamy might be a little too heavy for you to handle. You can only cheat on your partner for so long before one catches you and send you back to hell where you came from. (ok I made that up — the where you came from part…ehehe. Regardless, you are going to hell.)
A career is successful if one is consistent in building it and thus, the foundation of your career must first be consistent– meaning a career should have a solid base.
Love may be a many splendored thing but it is not consistent and neither can we count on it as solid.
Simple, we change our minds and we project love in many ways.
Love requires us to be creative and dynamic.
Love pushes us to be experimental.
Love loves to shake our stability.
Yes, it sounds all exciting, but you have to remind yourself that your job is not to keep you excited, it is to provide you an earning.
We cannot change our career every so often every time our love for something dies.
I’m not saying get a job you hate. That is insane.
I’m saying working is not about a matter of doing what you love most, but a question of what you are great at. I tried doing a project before because I love doing programs that can help communities. But the problem is, that certain project requires a certain expertise in the medical field that I do not have. I cannot relate.
My degree in philosophy did not help either.
I tried studying but it made me feel constricted and all the more confused.
Helpless is the word, misunderstood is second, Inefficient is the third.
It’s like fitting a large foot in a small shoe.
All you get is frustration. My love for helping did not cease but it did not make me effective either.
However if you build on your strengths and you develop it, you are sure to get somewhere.
A career is something we do to get rewarded. Love expects no reward.
Love serves a different purpose in our lives.
Don’t ask that it pay your rent, buy you food, and get you a car. Love is too good for that.
And because Love is too snobby to get us our selfish desires of luxury, Career is there to balance it out —because Loving cannot put food on the table, Career is there to make sure you eat. No, they don’t work against eachother. In fact they compliment, Career makes sure you are alive so that you can Love effectively.
Our career is just part of us, it is not our life.
A job is still a job. At the end of the day, it is our relationships that shape the greatness of our lives.
But having a career you are good at is just as important as loving. A career gives you a sense of being valued in monetary form and/or how you contribute to the society. It can also be fulfilling because having a good career means paying the bills and giving yourself and your family the luxury money can afford. How we do our job, whether we follow structure or not, is how the society calibrate our value. That’s why we appreciate people who are great in their fields…
You don’t get paid doing what you love.
Regardless of what you say, you are not getting paid because you love it.
You are getting paid because you can pull the job off.
Know the difference.
The moment you slack and someone outperforms you, your love for the job might help you strive to develop your skills and become better so as not to lose it.
But at the end of the day, it’s still whether you are able to deliver or not.
So instead of saying, do what you love, why don’t we say, do what you are good at and love it. Putting your strengths as the primary requirement on choosing a career instead of putting what you want to do first.
And stop looking for the perfect career. You are not that special. Yes you have your moments but you are just like everybody else. It is only fair that you get your share of annoying managers, hard-to-deal-with-clients, Bosses-from-hell, and the satanic cult to bring some misfortune to your perfect life.