Labours of Love

Do you love what you do?

Lately I’ve been chatting with a lot of my friends about passion and fulfilment in work and life. I seem to talk about it all the time in fact. And I keep seeing more and more that what it means to ‘love your job’ is different for everyone.

For example, I have a number of ambitious friends who have no need to love their career, but they do seek fulfilment in the workplace as much as any artist or entrepreneur. I think that finding meaningful and fulfilling work is a priority for many young professionals, so the conversation about what it means to be fulfilled at work is an important one to have.

On the other hand, my artist friends have expressed to me that they often get frustrated when working on their art, which I think is very common. If you devote yourself to something that doesn’t pay you, that takes hours and hours, and that nobody seems to pay attention to, you will have moments of frustration. However, it is a testament to how much an artist loves her work, if she works through those moments of frustration with the bigger picture or project in mind.

It’s also important to note that there’s a difference between loving what you do and loving every minute of working on it. Filmmakers, photographers, entrepreneurs, writers, and performers often spend hour after exhausting hour working to produce something that they hope the public will enjoy. Not every moment of the work that they do is enjoyable, but by keeping the bigger picture in mind they know that it is worth it in the end. Again, meaningful and fulfilling work is what keeps many artists and entrepreneurs motivated… more so than loving the day-to-day involved in the work that they do.

For my career path, I’m finding that fulfilment is more important than love when it comes to my day job. I’m noticing that finding fulfilling and meaningful work is something that many young people prioritize. I think the idea of ‘loving what you do’ can even seem daunting and overwhelming. What does it mean to your love your job anyway?

Self-employed artists and entrepreneurs work their butts off for what they love. But employees, managers, and VPs work their butts off too. And I think all types of professionals have the right to seek fulfilment in their work, in whatever way is meaningful to them.

What does fulfilling work mean to you? Have you found your own labour of love?

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