You know the famous line “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”. Well I have something to say to that – “Choose a job you love and you will be so exhausted that you could cry”. I think this one is far more honest.
I have seen Venn diagrams showing the intersection between stuff you love to do, stuff you are good at and stuff people are willing to pay you for. If you land the intersection of the three – a sliver so tiny that it is like asking an elephant to tiptoe on a dot, then you truly have something good going for you.
Most jobs I know today require immense effort and time. With technology being all pervasive, it is quite impossible to do the 9 to 5 routine anymore. Not replying to emails at 10 p.m. is almost seen like shirking responsibility or being on a call at 6 a.m. to meet Pacific time zone is a norm. This is true of most sectors and both for-profit and non-profit organisations as well.
Now when one needs to work like this, you would think it is important to love what you do. I say it is enough to like what you do. When you love what you do, your work consumes you. Your idea of self begins to merge with your work. While this is a great idea initially (for about 2 days) it gets daunting after a while because you are your work hence detachment is not possible.
People suggest vacations or sabbaticals or yoga but the question remains while you physically move away from your phone, laptop and your office cubicle, are you mentally able to walk away from that stray thought about work that lingers – always.
Saying “switch off” or “catch a break” is easy enough but to truly be able to allow your mind to wander reaching thoughts it never reached before without the guilt of not thinking about work is a gift. A gift, I currently do not possess.
Whoever said “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” did not know how all-consuming love can really be. Love does not allow to you to escape, love does not allow you the freedom to walk away and love guilts you and takes up most of your thoughts. Love binds you till you wish the hold was not so inextricable. Anyone who knows new moms should see this playing out before their eyes or work for a cause you are passionate about and you will feel this for yourself.
I am now beginning to tend towards “choose a job you like and you will only have to work 5 days a week”. It just sounds like something that would allow one to catch a breath, look around and probably even leave you with more people in your life.
But how would I know, I am in love with what I do so….
Tell me how it feels.