Do you love your work?

January 29, 2018

Love is a very wonderful, peculiar, complex and overwhelming emotion.

I wonder therefore when people say “I love my work” what this means?

I will be honest I do not love my work. I am not sure anyone should love their work.

I expect my work to be necessarily inconvenient.

I want my work to be an agreeable distraction given that it keeps me away from the people I love and the pastimes I love.

At the very least I do not want work to hurt my confidence or my health.

If I have to work it would be nice if it was interesting and useful. I would particularly like it to be useful. Making a difference for good is a huge privilege.

If I have to work it would be nice if colleagues were decent, likeable people who didn’t want to be there either, because they had people and pastimes they loved more as well.

If you have a wonderful talent I completely accept the need to fulfil potential. If you have a sense of duty I completely accept the drive this can instil. If you have a sense of fulfilment when a great job is completed I want to support you all the way.

…But to love one’s work still sounds implausible. It sounds like an exaggeration that compensates for something more revealing of absence or loss, certainly of imbalance.

I want everyone to be more than their work and for their behaviours to speak of a hinterland that is fulfilling, loving and sustaining. I am not defined by my work, my job title or my grade. I am defined by my friendships, my loves, my values and my contribution in the communities I move in.

I bring all of this to my work, not so that I may love my work, but so that my work may love me.

Take care. Paul

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