“Work is not supposed to be enjoyable because it’s work.”
This is a somewhat outdated concept that nevertheless continues to guide (or misguide) professionals. It might take a few more compelling arguments for us to move on to the career concept of the future: that work can be fun, that those two things are not on different sides of reality, and that we can be successful while doing what we love.
Our latest commentary series will attempt to explain why work and fun can coexist in a career. For each part of the series we will tackle one reason why work can be fun, or why doing something we enjoy can be the foundation of our career. Hopefully by the end of the series more of us have been convinced to pursue our passions and do things that we love.
THERE’S NO NEED TO FEEL REQUIRED TO DO SOMETHING WE ENJOY. IT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFTER ALL.
Many of us just work because we need to. We go to work and perform our tasks because of many reasons that do not involve personal satisfaction, such as earning to support basic needs. At work, we do our jobs because that’s what the very definition of work is. We only fulfill what the job description requires.
However, somebody who builds a career doing what they love doing will never feel like they’re being required or forced to work. Their reason for working will never be “because it’s my job”. Their reason will be “because this is my thing. I love it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
When we establish this kind of career, there will never be a need to justify beforehand why we should be performing a task. There will only be an excitement and eagerness to do it, as if we were looking forward to accomplishing the task. The relevant question changes: from “Why am I doing this?” to “Why would I not be doing this?” The willingness to work will never be in short supply, because our work is our passion.
Much of this willingness comes from the fact that a job aligned with our passions and interests often has the same goals we personally have. If we start a career doing what we love, many of our professional accomplishments will also be personal ones. By growing in our profession, we are growing something that we are genuinely interested in.
And when we possess this genuine interest in what we do for a living, the motivation will always be there. There will be fewer people resigning because they’re tired of their job or other reasons related to a mismatch between their chosen career and what they want to do in life.
Therefore, loving what we do is one of the ways we can make sure that we’re motivated by our genuine interest, and not by our fear of professional and financial failure.
Isn’t that a much nicer way of being motivated to work?