Don’t do work you love

This was the discussion I had with a colleague as he was discussing some interesting points from a book you read.

I find the argument pretty valid – ‘What if your passion was juggling? And what if you weren’t all that skilled in juggling?’

Would you still quit your day job as an IT analyst in an investment bank and pursue juggling?

Like all things, I think the ‘pursue your passion’ requires some perspective. To begin with, it probably requires your passion and skills to match (for eg: I have a real passion at football but I’m just about average at the game => I don’t dream of being a professional footballer). And secondly, even if passion and skills match, I think it also matters as to what your goals are, and how happiness at work fits in with the bigger picture.

For eg: if you are a manager at GE and are also married with 3 kids, you may want to just continue being a manager till you have enough in your bank account to sustain yourself and your family before becoming a professional juggler.

Pretty obvious, you say? Yes, absolutely. We tend to do this more often than not but the sad part is that we always romanticize about the ‘ideal job’ and the ‘ideal situation’. In my limited experience, there hardly ever is the ‘ideal job’ or ‘ideal situation‘.

Decide to make it ‘ideal’, decide to have ‘fun’, make enough money to make sure your parents (and/or spouse and kids) are okay, then quit everything and do what you love.

(If you are going to argue that all entrepreneurs are doing what they love, I would disagree. Entrepreneurship involves a LOT of dirty work which nobody would enjoy – what entrepreneurs enjoy is the thought of realizing their vision/their dream.
Is cleaning the office ideal? Probably not. But the dream makes it so..
And nobody stops you or me from dreaming.)

0 thoughts on “Don’t do work you love”

  1. Valid argument, Rohan. But ‘juggling’ seems like a convenient example to take. Wouldn’t you agree? You can try your hand at juggling or football and realize you are probably not as good at it as you had thought. But is this the case with every job? Just curious.

  2. Dear Amar, That’s a valid thought and it was chosen intentionally because points are best made when extremes are taken into consideration. The points I was looking to make here are 2-fold: 1) There is a lot of ‘career advice’ that goes about saying ‘find out your passion and then go work on it’. I feel it lacks 2 essential components – a) Are you skilled enough to be the best around at what you do?2) Does being the best around in that field give you enough (financially) for subsistence?2) I think the deeper point is that it is very easy to ‘hate’ your current job or even decide that ‘it’s not for you’ than it is to embrace it for what it is, build dreams around it and see it as a next step for you to achieve that dream. I doubt if there is any benefit of romanticizing about that ideal job. We decide if what we’re doing is ideal, or not.I’m not sure if that makes what I had in mind clear. Would be good to understand if that answers your question or if you have a specific example in mind.

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