Do You Hate Your Job? (Anonymous Comments Welcomed)

I remember talking to someone who longed to go to seminary.  Her then-job wasCleaning Croc something behind a desk at an airport and she hated it.  “You are so fortunate that you like your work,” she said to me.

Two things:

  • I acknowledge that I am a person of privilege, most especially because I lived in a town with excellent public schools, could afford to go to college and then graduate school and then more graduate school.
  • I don’t just like my job.  I really love my job.

Every time I hear a parent or teacher advise a young person to “do what they love” and the job will follow, I feel a little queasy.  I agree that doing what they love is huge.  But it’s also possible that they will never be able to get a job in a field they love.

I am the mother of three young adult kids who majored in three non-lucrative fields:  film, linguistics, and urban planning.  And yet they are all – miraculously – doing work they love in their fields.  I’ll say it again:  miraculous.

According to this story from yesterday’s news, “a little more than half of workers (52 percent) have a perpetual case of the Mondays—they’re present, but not particularly excited about their job” in the United States.

Two things:

  • A lot of people would be happy to take your job, 52%.
  • All of us with jobs have certain responsibilities that we don’t love.

I don’t love writing Board of Pensions letters.  But the other responsibilities often rock my world.  Crazy fortunate.

You?

Image source.

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4 responses to “Do You Hate Your Job? (Anonymous Comments Welcomed)

  1. I’vee come back to this article many times, by the host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe:

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/09/mike-rowe-jobs-lead-careers-employment08-cx_mr_1209rowe.html

    “In the long history of inspirational pabulum, ‘follow your passion’ has got to be the worst. Even if this drivel were confined to the borders of the cheap plastic frames that typically surround it, I’d condemn the whole sentiment as dangerous, not because it’s cliché, but because so many people believe it. Over and over, people love to talk about the passion that guided them to happiness. When I left high school–confused and unsure of everything–my guidance counselor assured me that it would all work out, if I could just muster the courage to follow my dreams. My Scoutmaster said to trust my gut. And my pastor advised me to listen to my heart. What a crock.

    “Why do we do this? Why do we tell our kids–and ourselves–that following some form of desire is the key to job satisfaction? If I’ve learned anything from this show, it’s the folly of looking for a job that completely satisfies a ‘true purpose.’ In fact, the happiest people I’ve met over the last few years have not followed their passion at all–they have instead brought it with them.”

  2. This is my first day back in the office after a week of study leave with good friends from seminary (including families) and a week of vacation in D.C., and I am surprised at how energized and eager I am to dive back in to work.

    I am very happy with my job right now and it has a lot to do with the church my wife and I co-pastor. For the first time in my 12 years of ministry I am serving with people who are willing and able to wrestle with the pressing issues and questions before the church. We haven’t figured out all (most) of the answers, but we are moving forward and it excites me.

  3. As I continue to do pulpit supply I find that I love working with the churches. What I dislike is the day to day grind of my “day” job outside of the church. I used to love it when the group I worked with in the past was still fun and growing. As the corporate world took over and people became number that translated to dollars then it became difficult. As a second career church person I find I can’t wait to work on things related to that calling!

  4. Amen sister.  I love that she is basically saying, you are lucky if you have a job, and to get over “it”.  

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