Even if I ignore that she also says “I am a writer, but I love sex more than I love writing. And I am not getting paid for sex.” to support her view that doing what you love for a living is a moot pursuit, the article still raises a freshly plucked eyebrow in her general direction.
I think we’d all be prostitutes if we dissected “Do what you love” as literally as Trunk.
Shit, I’d find a way to make money eating grilled cheese off the abs of Alexander Skarsgård lookalikes on my motorcycle in Laos while my cats make me cupcakes in the sidecar if I took this little piece of career advice to heart.
I’m not being fair. I’m taking Trunk too seriously.
In fact, once she’s done presuming “Do what you love” means “Make money doing only your favourite hobby” she actually starts to make some sense.
Here’s where I agree with her:
There is no perfect career for you.
Fact. And trying to find it either puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on us (A-type anyone?) or removes all responsibility for forging our own path in favour of foraging for the perfect listing on Workopolis.
Do not what you love, do what you are.
To me, they’re the same damn thing. If your job doesn’t use your natural strengths, pique your interest, jive with your personality, and sync up with your values more than it makes you function in your weaker personality traits, you’d likely be caught doing a Boston Floor Slap in the nude on Bay Street on a Monday before you’re 30. As in, not loving it. When you do what you are, you’ll love it more than whatever you were stuck doing before. Trunk also links to a book I got a lot out of, for more on personality type and career.
No job will ever make your life complete.
Also true. Putting all of your self-worth eggs into the work basket is a bad idea. Like living vicariously through your kids and making them do pilates with you. But who would do that?
There’s also good stuff in Trunk’s article about getting a job for the sake of making some money, meeting some people, and feeling productive.
Then she blows it and says doing work you love isn’t all that important.
Listen, Trunk, we agree that it’s pretty futile to wait and pluck that perfect little opportunity where your best hobby becomes a bill-paying job out of thin air. I also think it’s pretty common knowledge that even your favourite pastime can become your worst nightmare when it becomes work, and that not every hour of the day can be spent loving what you’re doing.
But that’s not the point. A lot of people know this stuff.
I think people are smarter than that. I think most of us interpret “Do what you love” more holistically. Each major area of life — relationships, hobbies, education, relaxation, health, and yes the job you spend most of your waking hours doing — need to leverage and nurture your interests, strengths, quirks, and values, and resonate with you, make you grow, let you contribute, and leave you feeling generally awesome most of the hours you dedicate to it.
To me that equates to a kind of love. And it’s worth finding.