When you Do What you Love…

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A wise man once said:

If you do what you love for a living, you will never work a day in your life.

Today, many people disagree with this line of thinking, because they believe once something becomes work – it’s just work, no matter what it is.

But then should the opposite advice prove better? If I find something I hate and do it for a living, will that make me love it more over time?

I highly doubt that.

A Cog in the Wheel

When I worked at Xerox Business Services I had a standard 40-hour week. To be more specific, I put in 38.5 hours of work, when my lunch break was excluded.

And you know what?

From the first to the last day I worked there, every moment felt like torture. Just one week after landing my job with the company, I started to job hunt again and continued to do so for the remaining two years I spent with them.

When I finally found the opportunity to leave, I told the HR Director that the only difference between working at Xerox and working on a plantation in the 1700s was central air conditioning.

It was a private conversation in which she had encouraged me to be as bluntly honest as possible, and I had handed it to her.

Believe it or not, she only smiled. “You’re not the first person to tell me that,” she admitted.

Other Cogs in the Machine

But I already knew I wasn’t the only one dissatisfied with my job. The best worker on our team often confessed that every day he spent working as an analyst, it was the more he felt his brain cells disappearing.

He loved accounting, and as close as taxes came to that, it just wasn’t enough for him. He wasn’t doing what he loved.

Fast-forward to more than a year later and both of us have put the company behind us. He now enjoys working somewhere else and is getting a degree in accounting; and I enjoy working for myself and with clients.

Building my Own Machine

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In fact, I’ve had weeks of putting in 70 hours of work – voluntarily.

What do I do with all that time? I help start-ups work on their payroll and budgeting to submit to investors. I handle social media pages, create a few ad campaigns, consult with authors, and provide content for a few websites. And most importantly, I manage my blogs.

Throughout all this, I still find time to work out, take short hiking trips, eat out, play video games, visit with family and friends, and even get my hair done.

How did I do it? Who knows?
I’ve always had the uncanny ability to put extra hours in a day.
It’s been my super-power since I hit puberty.

But when people see how many hours I work and hear the tallied number, they are often concerned. Of course, I’m often tired. That I openly admit. But how could I not be stressed? Unhappy, even? At least, not where work is concerned.

Doing What I Love

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The answer is simple: I do what I love for a living, so I never work a day in my life. In fact, I would put in another 10 hours – happily – if I could have found anymore work to do. But alas, I often do not.

Maybe this coming week will be another 70 hours or a 60. But whatever the count, I know I will enjoy every second I spend tweeting, photo-shopping, marketing, writing, designing, budgeting, and anything else my clients send my way.

What will you be working on this week? If it’s not something you love, then perhaps it’s time to consider a new career path. It’s never too late to go back to school, and never too late to live the life you’ve always dreamed.

As long as what you love coincides with something you’re also good at – take a chance, make the effort, create a change. You’ll be happy you did.

Photos by Kaboompics

 

Originally published February 8, 2016 on Alexis Chateau.

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69 thoughts on “When you Do What you Love…

  1. Another great post, as always. I’m starting to grow accustomed to finding wonderful insight in your posts; I think it will prove incredibly helpful as I continue to figure out what’s next.

    1. Thanks Wade – I’ve made a conscious effort to move away from merely “reporting” what I’ve been up to, to providing something more beneficial to readers. Music to my ears to see that you guys are catching on to that, and that it’s actually is proving useful. 😉

      1. Yeah, for sure, i’m working with my nephew whose working for/inside a big corporate machine-right now-and he hates it.

        I like your stuff and I’d love to have you guest post for me. Would you be interested in that? Let me know!

      2. I can well imagine. I have few kind words if any to say about Xerox. Even when I left, they tried to burn me for it – ridiculous.

        And wow – thank you. Definitely no bigger compliment than being asked to guest post.

        Please send the details to grantfreelancing@gmail.com. I’m all ears!

  2. You’re right. Which is why I’m not reenlisting in the Army. The military is a good secured job but I know I won’t be satisfied with security alone. Writing is what is on my mind all day everyday. And, no matter how much success I have in any career I know I will not feel fulfilled by not making a living writing.

    1. It’s also why I’m not going back to payroll. If writing is on your mind, then write. However, making a living from writing isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds. Don’t be too much against having a back-up/part-time job to help pay the bills while you explore your passion. Best of luck!

  3. Great post! This is really encouraging… I agree that we should be doing what we love. If we really cannot make a major shift at the moment for some reasons, at least we should set aside a time to do the things that uplifts our spirit!

  4. Thank you for this! I quit my job last year for the same reasons you had for leaving Xerox, my sanity and brain cells. A year later I’m about to have a baby and racking my brain on how I’m going to make something akin to your job happen when I’m ready to work again. Jamaica is so rigid in that regard, this gives me hope. Thank you!

    1. Since you’re Jamaican then I know you know those Freeport jobs are crap! I would definitely encourage you to find a way to work from home. It would also give you more time with your child. Congrats and all the best!

  5. I think it’s fantastic that you’re able to do what you love with your life! Not to mention being successful while doing so! Way to go!

    I’m looking to do what I love with my life. I know that getting there is going to be an adventure. It’s already been an adventure just getting as far as I am. I’m keeping at it though, because when I’m “working”, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m embracing what I love and making it the focus of my day.

    1. That’s great that you’re following a similar path. It’s definitely fulfilling. I’ll be getting a part time job soon I think, to help pay for some renovations to the home, but I don’t see myself working full time in corporate ever again. All the best!

      1. Pursuing that little bit of extra cash to make the changes you want in your life seems like a legit reason to do a little bit of extra work! Enjoy the renovations.

      2. Thanks. Yes, it’s definitely time for a bit of extra work to supplement the fun work. It’s not a corporate job and I work on my blog while there so win win for me. Haha

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