I recently attended a convention for a profession that is not my own. This afforded me an interesting fly-on-the-wall experience: I know enough to understand the complexities of their work, but I’m not engaged in the day-to-day process of doing it. As I rode on a bus to a site visit, I overheard dozens of tales of woe, persecution, dissatisfaction and despair. From incompetent supervisors/co-workers/clients to epic turf wars to simple lack of recognition, their stories were nearly identical. They work in a healthcare adjacent industry, so many of these travails may be intrinsic to the job, but these were seriously unhappy folks.
I struggled for a time to identify with any of their emotions and found myself unable. I love my job – every single part of it. My co-workers are smart and helpful, funny and fun. My bosses are caring and involved. My work is productive and rewarding.
“Do what you love and the money will follow” is a lovely sentiment, but until someone starts paying me to eat french fries and read books, I think the better choice is to choose to love what you are doing. Or at least be happy. It’s a choice, like any other and you should be happy.
Maybe it’s because I’m old(er than most of my colleagues). Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of awful jobs. I know how fortunate I am to work at a place like Newfangled and that not everyone is as lucky. But I decided a long time ago that it is easier to be happy then dwell in the negative. My days go by faster, my evenings become stress free and my life is a much better place.
Find a thing you like, find a nice place to do it. Get a pair of shoes that make you look fabulous. Not every day will be flawless, but they also won’t be filled with struggle. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia and forget, but I can tell you that it will all be fine.