You Don’t Have to Love Your Job

Too many people are told to follow their passion and find their dream job above all else. This is bad advice. Instead, go get a job that you can do, pays you well, and is filled with respect. There is no reason to be a sycophant at work.

Sarah Jaffe recently wrote a book titled Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone and in it she explores our modern and utterly bizarre expectation that you should love your job. Over at the Next Big Idea Club she highlighted five key points from her book, and it’s worth looking at.

2. The idea that we should like our work is actually a relatively new concept.

The way we work and the way we think about work have changed over time. And so while humans have long been presumed to do some kinds of work for the love of it, that’s an expectation that has grown and spread from a couple of types of work to pretty much everything. The idea that we work in order to find fulfillment, rather than a paycheck, wasn’t particularly widespread even just a couple of generations ago. When you’re digging coal or building cars for a living, no one expects you to do it because you like it. You did it because it paid decently—or because it paid at all.

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