BlogHer

Our Jobs: Doing What We Love

As singles, we have options: where to live, who to socialize with, what to do for a living. Out of those three things, our jobs often take the biggest precedent because we spend a lot of energy thinking about what we want to do with our lives. And a lot of times, when we decide to take a leap and do something different, it means we have to switch other things around in order to accommodate that change.

But things are never quite as simple as making a change and having everything fall magically into place; it’s inevitably more complicated than that. There are many factors involved with a job change: the amount of money you make; the degree to which you’re comfortable making drastic life changes; certain options not being available in your current geographic area; rent and lease responsibilities; a lack of required education. But in general, singles are often seen as having more options when it comes to making job and/or career changes than someone who is married or has children.

The hardest part about making a job change is actually following through with the process. It’s not easy, or something that can be taken lightly. Experts may counsel us to take risks and do what we love, especially during this time in our lives when it’s socially acceptable to experiment with what we really want to do, but that’s easier said than done. We still have to collect a paycheck, pay our bills, keep our health insurance. And even if we don’t really like what we’re currently doing, it can be scary to give up a feeling of stability for the questions involved with the unknown.

But why do we change jobs in the first place? Why are so many of us dissatisfied with what we do? This is something I’ve thought about many, many times over the years. I’ve read a lot of opinions on the subject, but to me it all seems to circle back to inspiration. We change jobs, or dream of changing our jobs, because we’re not satisfied with what we’re currently doing. For some people, changing their job means staying in the same city, in the same type of industry, but just switching to a different compay. Others are willing to take a more drastic approach, like moving to Los Angeles to work as a waitress while they wait for their big acting break.

We want to feel inspired. We want to feel like we’re doing something that we enjoy and that we’re good at. Money will always be a factor because we have to make enough to live on, but for many people who truly love what they do, it’s not the biggest motivating factor. When I looked for people who were talking about loving their jobs, not once did one of them say they loved their job solely because they were making a lot of money. Another commonality is that a lot of people who love their jobs don’t have so-called “normal,” desky-type careers. Some people fell into their jobs randomly and it turned out to be the best move they ever made, but most people have to make a conscious decision — in order to do what you love, you have to make it happen.

[Read the rest of this post at BlogHer]

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10 Comments

  • Reply jen August 13, 2007 at 10:11 am

    i don’t think it’s easier for singles to change jobs at all, i think it’s easier for partnered people without kids, because they have a safety net and a partner that can help support them financially if they take a pay cut, help put them through additional schooling, etc.

    i love my job even though i wouldn’t say i love what i DO at my job. as usual, i’m the weird one, but the reasons i love my job are, in order of importance:

    1. it’s 9-5, no overtime, no weekends. if i show up late, i just stay late, no obnoxious attendance policies. if i want to take a break and get some coffee i just go get some coffee.
    2. i get paid a lot for how much i work. also good benefits, good leave policy, good job security.
    3. i’m well-suited for the work, it comes relatively easy to me.
    4. i don’t have to work with other people and i don’t get bothered by clients/customers/whoever during the day. i sit in my office by myself all day and that’s how i like it.

    i have no interest in working harder or getting less money to do a job that is more interesting. and i’m confident that i could not find a job doing work that i like better UNLESS i worked harder and got paid less. moreover, i honestly don’t think that i would love doing ANYTHING if it were my job. i can sit and play videogames for 8 hours straight easily, but if it were my job to play xbox all day, i think i’d be just as bored and frustrated with that as i get with my work.

  • Reply Teresa August 13, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I love my job b/c I know I work everyday for a worthy cause. I take pride in knowing the community benefits from the organization I work for.

    I’ve always wanted to teach Kindergarten; I wouldn’t quit what I do now, but if the opportunity came about I would definitley consider it.

  • Reply geeky August 13, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I absolutely love my job because of a combination of the reasons Dixie Dynamite mentioned, nice job perks, great coworkers, and that it’s what I’m naturally good at. I have just the right amount of work here to keep me busy and challenged while still having time to enjoy my job’s perks. And like you mentioned, the money has nothing to do with it. I know I could make twice as much money in the corporate world, but I couldn’t wear jeans and flipflops to work there, could I? :)

  • Reply Coy August 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    How inspiring!

    After years of working jobs I despised, I finally found a good career. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when you do something you love. It changes every aspect of your life and puts a perpetual spring in your step.

    My new job is fascinating and challenges me on a daily basis. Being stagnant is career kill.

  • Reply sunchaser August 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    What Jen says about changing jobs/moving = “spot on”. Actually I think in some ways it’s even easier for people w/kids (from what I’ve read).

    What I like: being self-employed rocks. There is absolutely nothing else like it.

    What I don’t like: being on the road all the time (it was fun at first, but is kind of old now).

    The money is nice, but it’s not the be all/end all.

    So yeah, guess what’ll be happening in the next couple of months? (:

    So what about your job?

  • Reply K.T. August 13, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    So far, analysis isn’t the bestest job in the whole-wide world, but at least I get to play with a fair amount of technology and pay the bills. There’s some creativity involved, though of a different nature than the creativity I’m used to. We’ll see how the incessant travel treats me when it starts.

    If money weren’t a factor, in order of most desire to least, here’s what I’d go do:

    novelist (science fiction)
    novelist (literary fiction)
    english professor (brit lit)
    english professor (american lit)
    editor
    journalist
    psychiatrist
    courier
    babysitter
    [50 choices later]
    law-talking guy

  • Reply Colleen Thompson August 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the link! Being a novelist is a great gig, but the single writer has to remember there are no sick days and no bennies – including retirement.

    Still, it gives me joy, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Reply Another Chris August 13, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    I do love my job, now….I’ve 21 years with the same company, and entry-level jobs with this particular company are unpleasant (call-center, and LOTS of being yelled at, by customers), though the benefits and pay are wonderful, so we tolerate, ad hope yo move on. After 12 years I was able to transfer to a job in engineering, and I’ve been there ever since….love the people, love the work, and hope to stay where I am until I can retire. And if I could do anything else it would be teaching grade school…I mentored for a few years, and it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Wow, what a long reply!! :)

  • Reply Brie August 13, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I’m an occupational therapist- and I could have gone to med school if I’d wanted to, but like Nicole I love working with patients. I learn things from all of my patients and it makes my day whenever I do something that seems small to me, but makes a difference for them. It’s very rewarding.
    I get paid well enough to earn a good living.
    I have left jobs because I didn’t like the direction the company was going in and because I wanted to move to be with my family.
    Now, if I were to go back to school I’d go to nursing school or I’d become a teacher.

  • Reply Fashion Girl August 21, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks so much for including me in this post!!! I do love my job…I’ve been given amazing opportunities at such a young age. I work in a VERY creative environment with amazingly talented people. I learn something new every day!

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