Do you LOVE your job?

No? That’s perfectly fine.

Society can sometimes get bogged down in a mindset where we must continually strive to find the perfect job. A job that we are madly passionate about, and that if we settle for anything less, we aren’t ambitious, nor are we “living the dream”. I have no problem with people who are ambitious, and attempt to follow through with their dream career. That’s fantastic and I wish those people every ounce of luck to reach those goals.

BUT don’t bring me down in the process. I’ve had various people over the past few years question why I continue working in a job I’m not in love with. The reason this questioning gets to me is that I don’t complain about my job. I have the odd whine to a workmate about trivial things, but not to people outside of work. I don’t complain about the conditions, the pay, or the boss. But the moment I vaguely mention that I didn’t have the best day (which I usually keep to myself), the “dreamers” question why I don’t pack it in and “be my own boss”. Here’s why:

  • I don’t love my job but I love that I have my job.
  • I’m not particularly close to anyone I work with and I don’t see any work colleagues outside work, but I love that I have a group of people to socialise with on a daily basis.
  • I don’t love that it takes me 45 minutes to drive to work, but I love a lot of the gorgeous countryside that I get to drive past along the way, and I love the extra time I get to turn my music up to 11.
  • I don’t work in a progressive office with forward-thinkers, innovators or enthusiasm in general. But I love that my workplace has room for improvement and that I can make suggestions and help it move forward.  
  • I’m not saving humanity, curing cancer, or doing anything groundbreaking at work. But I do contribute to my own organisation, and I work under (some) bosses who appreciate what I do.

I’ve seen people who run their own business. Reality check. Their hours are still dictated by clients, they take work home with them, and they feel stressed if they hit a lean patch. They rarely take holidays, and if they do, the business goes on holiday as well. I’m in a reasonably secure job, with decent pay and conditions. And before you picture me sitting in my own office earning a motsa, to give you some perspective, I do earn less than the Australian average. The irony is that people who tell me I’m not living the dream because I’m not working the “perfect” job are putting more emphasis on my job than what I am, suggesting it plays a bigger part of their happiness than it does for me.

I’m content with my job because the other facets of my life are fulfilled. I love that I have my job because it allows me to live how I like to live. To do all the things outside of work that I want to do. It helps me sleep comfortably. It puts food on my plate. It gives me a hot shower every night. And it gives me the Internet, allowing me to connect with all you wonderful people.

I do apologise if this sounds more like a rant than what I’d usually post, but I wrote this post for two reasons. The first was as a bit of a retort to those out there “living the dream” and judging me at the same time. Secondly, it all comes back to my aim of Living Simple. It’s about appreciating what I have and not feeling like I need to chase something better. There are aspects of my job that I really dislike, but there’s also plenty that I love. That’s not because of the job, but because of how I approach it each day and because I never take my job for granted.

There is nothing wrong with working in a job that you can’t sell to someone else as your “passion”. I do it, and I couldn’t be happier.

Are you in a job you dislike? Is there a way you can add a bit of love to your job?

42 thoughts on “Do you LOVE your job?

  1. My last job was meh, but it want awful. There were issues, but the pay was good enough, the benefits were great, and some of my co-workers were pretty cool. I would love to be working again, even in that meh job. Being disabled is boring and you feel like a loser. Hopefully my immune system recovers enough and the other issues go away enough that I can work again soon. I only loved one job but that company shut-down. It wasn’t my dream, but it was great work. I can’t wait for a job again, even if it is just meh. Your post really resonates with me for that reason.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope you can recover & get back to work again soon Josh. It’s for this reason that I get frustrated at people who ‘hate’ their job and openly whinge every day. There’s people like yourself that would appreciate being in their position. Thanks for the comment 🙂

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  2. It sounds more like a motivational piece than a rant Mike. I work as a home care nurse, one patient for years at a time. My patients and their families have always become extensions to my family. I’ve loved them and lost them to death. Each time I cry at their funerals, I say ‘that’s it.’ I’m still at it. There is always a new patient who needs me, and I need them. Your post brings that truth home.

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    1. I’m glad it didn’t come across as a rant 🙂 I can’t begin to imagine how difficult your job would be, but I think what you do is very admirable. Especially that you continue with new patients. As I’ve mentioned in one of my other replies, there are a lot of jobs in the world that wouldn’t be considered dream jobs, but society needs people to perform them and it’s made me realise to not only appreciate MY own job, but also appreciate the types of jobs other people have and how they contribute.

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  3. Beautiful post! I have always loved the saying “find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” But this post gives a different perspective, a more realistic and practical one. I always admire people who look at the glass half full. Carry on! 🙂

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  4. Very honest, heartfelt POV. Your whys resonates with me. Everybody’s dream is different, and it is almost unfair to impose their own perspective of “living a dream” on you and question what you do. I think (from your writing) what you have is grit and that is really hard to come by these days because most are about me, me, me ( I deal with a lot of that at my work place). I came from the old school of thought that hard works pays off in the end, and sometimes, it is not about living your dream, but contribute where you can, when you can to give that value in the workplace. (with your outlook like that, I would hire you!) The whiners are the worst – and I have seen the impact on the organisation, where all the positive people starts to feel negative about things.

    Living simple and fulfilled means a whole word to me. I like my job (most times), and it’s the people I have to deal with that causes me unnecessary stress! You have a good take on thing and that can be contagious.

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    1. Thank you Ann! 🙂 I’ll admit sometimes it can be a bit of a slog to consistently get above the negativity that I work around, but I try and stick close to the like-minded, who appreciate their job and try to focus on improvements. The last 12-18 months or so has been a bit of an eye-opener with the whole Live Simple thing and it’s something I try to work on every day, even if it’s just samll things. Approaching my job from a different perspective, particularly in the last few months has been a massive help. Thanks for the comment! And if I do ever lose this job, I might chase you up on that offer 😉

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  5. This is especially appropriate for me today. There is a lot to be said for being able to tolerate your job — how many people, I wonder, are really THAT happy with their job? And how many change their perspective on “what they love” when their paycheck depends solely on it? Good post.

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    1. Good point rainman, and it makes me think there are a LOT of jobs out there that would never be considered a dream job, but if they aren’t done, the world simply doesn’t function as we know it. The majority will work in those types of jobs and it’s up to us to approach them with the right attitude 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 A lot of people I work with take it all for granted which is a shame. Thanks for the comment on the site… I still have my indecisive moments where I wonder if it needs a new theme & complete refresh, despite the whole thing being up less than 2 months!

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  6. I had many “dream jobs” before I found retail. I hated the jobs that I should have loved. In fact when I left retail to pursue to career my bachelors was in all I could dream of was customer service, merchandising, and achieving goals. Needless to say I took the minor pay cut and returned to my passion on the sale floor. For me I guess it was just dumb luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad to hear you found your passion, and not where you expected to find it. I guess that’s a lesson to others to keep your mind open to whatever you’re doing and when you start to appreciate something, you may enjoy it a lot more than first thought!

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  7. Yes, there’s way too much emphasis on loving your work! I don’t think that’s necessary. I think it’s important not to HATE your job. But it’s a job for a reason: You work to live, not live to work! Or at least, you should.

    I have a bunch of hobbies: blogging, video games, board games, running, reading… If any of those became something I HAD to do instead of something I do whenever I feel like it, I can see the fun in them being ruined a little. And that would be a really sad thing.

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    1. Cheers for the comment Razel 🙂 You brought up something I failed to mention in my post. It is important not to HATE your job, and I’d totally understand anyone that absolutely hates their job (due to abusive colleagues, low pay that doesn’t support them, or anything that causes undue stress or affects their mental health) wanting to search for something better. And yeah I agree about the hobbies – I’ve often been asked why I don’t pursue photography as a career and like you, I think I would lose the passion and fun I get from doing it when I choose and free of pressure.

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  8. Great post. There’s not really a “perfect” job just one that allows you to be the person you want to be. I like my job as it allows me to interact with people on a daily basis, but I wouldn’t say it was my perfect job. It also comes down to how we define our success (work, family, life, etc) and that is different for everyone.

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    1. You’ve hit on an important point – how we actually define success. I guess I find it easy to settle into the job I’m in because I won’t be defined in life by work/career. All of my goals are non-work related and I can’t see that ever changing 😉

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  9. Thank you for this. Your timing couldnt be better for me! I find myself in a negative cycle, complaining about many things, including the fact that Im teaching high school rather than my dream of elementary school. I think its important to try to pursue the things that make you happy but also to remember to be grateful for everything that you do have. Thanks again for reminding me of the importance of a simple life and gratitude.

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    1. I’m glad it could help 🙂 It sounds like you aren’t too far away from your dream job, so I do hope you get there soon. You’re right, it is important to pursue other things that bring happiness. I tend to find that people I work with who *really really* hate their job (despite it not actually being that bad at all) are generally unhappy with most facets of their life.

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  10. I do not love my job. But like you, know that I can make a difference and I find that motivating. I get to work with some pretty cool people (except this one guy is a little different) and the pay and conditions are good. To be honest, I dont even know a job that exisits that I would actually ‘love’. So Im all good 🙂

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  11. Definitely NOT a rant, my friend! Just an honest assessment of the way things are. Now that my hubby and I are retired, I can honestly say I liked my jobs over the years, despite the fact that I was not “enamored” with some of my co-workers and bosses. And I agree with you 100% — don’t put me down because my job doesn’t count as much in my own happiness equation as your job does in yours. I tend to dismiss people like that now that I’m retired. It’s their problem, not mine. They have to get over it or get an ulcer.

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  12. I oftentimes grapple about this matter, and am still at odds with it…

    I definitely agree with all your points. But sometimes at the end of a long day, I will flip on TEDTalks and watch people who are truly passionate about what they do, and there is still a little part of me that nags…

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  13. I’m 29 and finally in a job, that I wouldn’t say I liked. Much like yourself, I like having it, and it’s ok. But more than that, it’s the first (in a long line of jobs) where I wake up, and don’t mind going. I may have the occasional day where I don’t feel like going to work, that I wish I could turn the alarm off and roll back over and sleep(!) but generally, I’m ok with going to work. I guess to me, that’s enough right now!

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  14. This is such a great post, Mike! Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the things we dislike about our jobs, but in reality, we forget to realize all the good things they provide us with.

    I happen to love my job – teaching – and it has truly become my passion. However, I’ve had jobs previously that drained me and it was next to impossible for me to find anything positive about them other than, “It pays the rent and puts food in my mouth.” Sometimes, bad jobs can be like a cancer, killing us. But even those are giving us something we should try to see positively. It’s tough to do, but so important.

    Thanks for sharing this challenge with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Krissi! You’re right, there is always a reason why we’re working, and keeping sight of that reason usually makes the day much easier – although if someone does have a job that resembles cancer, I would seriously recommend searching frantically for a new one! I’m glad to hear you’ve found something you are passionate about, while earning a living at the same time, that’s great! 🙂

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  15. Well said. I have a “dream job” and know enough that a dream job is still a job. I am grateful for many parts of it, but the myth of a dream job is that, no matter how much you love a job, it will never love you back. All of life has to be good, not just the job. Yours is not a rant. You chose your own paradigm. Well done.

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  16. Mike,
    I just recently found your blog and I have to say, my goal is to take at least five minutes, every day, to sit down and read through your ideas. You are so positive! I believe this will get me off on a good note every time I read it! I do try to make a positive out of everything going on in my life, but sometimes it feels like there really aren’t any positives. Take my job for instance. Sometimes I do not know how I am going to get through my day. After reading your thoughts, my thought process has changed and I could definitely find at least a few positives on a daily basis!
    Thanks,
    Nicole

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much Nicole! I’m really happy to hear that my post has given you a positive perspective on life. When we do stop and think about what’s around us, it’s amazing how much cool stuff we actually find. They’re usually small, free, and things we can do every day! Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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  17. Hi Mike,
    Interesting post and I have worked as a nurse and nutritionist for years but then retired. At first I thought it would be a huge relief to not be caring for people all the time but then the novelty of that so disappeared. I returned to studying and blogging on nutrition and health coaching and I am quite passionate about it and don’t mind working hard on it even though I don’t have to – it gives me job satisfaction. The work that you go to and get paid for is just one facet of your life, your blogging and photography are what you choose to do and enjoy, if you made money doing those things it shouldn’t take away that satisfaction. You have many talents and you choose how you distribute your time – that is wonderful, and sharing those things with others is also really great. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Linda! It certainly makes it easier to throw hard work and dedication at something you are passionate about. My latest trick has been finding facets of my job that combine my interests outside of work (i.e. designing something, or trying to have an impact on the culture of my workplace) and so far it’s working!

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  18. This is such a great topic, i can relate big time,i have been at my job for about 8 years now and i thought i was in love with it, until a few months ago i realize that’s not what i want to do for the rest of my life, i have been missing my kids and wife.

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    1. Thank you for reading, and your comment! I learned quite a long time ago that I didn’t want to stay in my job for the rest of my life, but only recently did it hit me that it’s perfectly ok to be doing something that isn’t necessarily my dream job, as long as I’m not miserable of course 😉

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