What does it really mean to love your job?
Let’s get real. When people say they love their job, what does that really mean?
You can be overflowing with passion for your job. You can truly love your job, and yet still, there will be parts that you don’t even like, let alone, love. And other parts that subtly (or very loudly) remind you your job is work, and not a party. That’s ok. That’s actually helpful. Especially if right now, you don’t love your job at all.
Now, how is that reality check helpful, you ask? It's helpful because it puts into perspective what your best friend really means when she oozes over how much she LOVES her job, or when your neighbor is sharing every detail of her day at her “dream job.” Recognizing that loving your job doesn't mean it will be perfect helps you know what to shoot for. It keeps you focused on finding a vibrant, engaging workplace rather than feeling like you're supposed to find a shangri-la (or some other version of a beach vacation that stimulates you, pays you, and makes you happy everyday).
And just to drive it home, we interviewed a bunch of people who unequivocally love their jobs, but also recognize (and accept!) their imperfections. We've included a few of those responses so you can see for yourself what loving your job might look like.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not about settling. This is about pushing yourself hard to find a career that aligns with your values and makes you happy while simultaneously managing your expectations, because no job is perfect. And let’s face it, you accept faults in a lot of other aspects of your life that you love -- like your friends, spouse, parents, and even your children. Yet despite those imperfections, you can state with confidence that you love them, and when they disappoint you, or frustrate you, or make you mad, you don’t love them less. You dig in and figure out what got miscommunicated, or what went wrong, you make amends and move forward.