One often hears a parent saying to a child: “Find a job/career that you really love, because you will be doing it for the rest of your life.” Though this career advice is given with love and is obviously well-intended, is it really realistic or appropriate?
My take on things is that a minority of people have jobs/careers they really “love,” not necessarily because they made poor career choices along the way, but more often because there simply aren’t that many lovable careers/jobs out in the “real world.” Moreover, going out into the world expecting to find a lovable job sets up unrealistic expectations and might paradoxically make that person more prone to being dissatisfied with perfectly acceptable, if unspectacular, jobs. I might also add that lots of students pursue fascinating majors while in college—fields of study that they “love”—yet one that don’t hold much career potential. On another note, couldn’t this advice of finding a job/profession that one loves explain some of the ambivalence among college students over what field of study they should pursue because nothing really excites them?
I know a great many professionals and my impression is that few indeed truly love what they do—never have, never will. Most are lukewarm about their jobs. Some aspects they enjoy, other aspects they despise. Almost all would love to retire early or work far less.
Isn’t it more realistic and advisable to say to a young person: “find something that reasonably interests you—something that you would enjoy doing for the next, say, 10 years”—and then hope they grow to enjoy, and maybe even love, it?
Reflecting back, I’ve never had a job I’ve really loved. Enjoyed, yes. Loved, no.
So, that’s the OP. Your input—including whether you love your job/profession—is greatly appreciated.