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You hear it constantly, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” But what happens if you don’t LOVE the job you’re currently doing? Is that supposed to be a reflection of where you are in life? And what if you love being comfortable more than you love your job? What if you want to have a life?
I’m a writer and a producer. I love what I do- most of the time. But there are jobs that you take, just for the money and the ability to have a Lady of Leisure lifestyle. For those of you new to the blog, an LOL lifestyle is a new lease on life! It’s putting yourself first, being adventurous; finding moments of carefree bliss in our otherwise hectic and crazy lives.
Recently, I was working on a show that sucked. I won’t name which one, but needless to say a combination of things came together to make it a less than exciting experience. And again, I usually love what I do, but I found this particular job incredibly annoying with difficult parameters and not challenging in a positive way. I found myself in uncharted waters because usually, I feel like I can do anything! I usually love what I do! Its part of my new LOL mantra!
The reality is, that I did the job at 100%, not at my usual 200% speed. This makes me think of two things. 1) Why do we always feel like giving all of ourselves during the time required is not enough. Why do I feel bad that I only gave 100%? I only did exactly what was asked me, nothing more and nothing less and for some reason that makes me feel bad about my performance? This feeling of having to give more than is asked of you and it being expected in work performance is ludicrous. We are all culpable too, because when taking a new job, we like to over deliver and over achieve. We don’t talk about all the things that we need to be the most successful, we talk about the things that the company or the job need. This makes you start already behind because it is impossible to deliver great results when you are burning yourself out or when you aren’t discussing the time off you need to recharge, the benefits, and other “you things” that are needed to provide you with energy and brain power for your optimum performance.
The second thing it made me wonder is why I need to love the material. Is it necessary that you love each job? I don’t think so. I think that sometimes, you can just like it and be fine. This notion we have of having to be in love all the time is inconsistent with the rest of the worlds notions of work. Sometimes, a job is just a job and you do it well, get paid and move on. Just because you’re not dreaming up new ways of making it better every second does not mean that you’re not doing a great job. So take a deep breathe and get rid of those guilty feelings!
On the flip side, having a job you don’t love can be a miserable experience. It can lower your productivity and make you a generally crabby person. I think that it all comes back to being a “glass is half full” kind of person. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of being in job you don’t love and you feel like you’re working hard for no reason, think about all the great benefits of this situation!
1- A pay check is great!
2-You have an ability to disconnect from the material and have a life!
3-Yoga/workouts/personal hobbies – these are all things you tend to put off when you are working on something you LOVE.
So I say that you don’t have to love what you do all the time. Sometimes, you love that your doing something that is moving you further along in your career endeavors and that is enough. It’s okay to just mildly like the job your with. We don’t need to have love affairs with our work all the time. Sometimes having a life for a moment is just as great.
So don’t get discouraged if you’re an actor out there wearing a chicken suit right now – Brad Pitt did that too. Or if you’re a housewives whose kids are driving her crazy and at night is penning the next 50 Shades. Like the job you’re with enough to just appreciate that its moving your along on your path. The rest will come.