T: Work to Live vs. Live to Work

Lately readers I have been having a recurring conversation with a few friends of mine and after some thought I have decided the topic of conversation is probably a relatively new one.

A good friend of mine recently wrote a blog entry (http://youandi365.blogspot.com/) about the disillusionment of what we think will happen upon graduation (that we will walk into a cushy job with copious amounts of perks and respect…and a corner office) and what actually happens (a road paved with months of self-doubt, confusion and endless ego-bruising job application submissions/interviews at the end of which lies a decent job with minimal perks, stability and pay).

This blog entry coincided perfectly with a recurring conversation that has popped up in my life over the last little while. A few of my friends are now in jobs that they worked extremely hard to get into after graduation. A few of them are even sitting in the job after the job after the job they got after graduating. However, they all seem to be lacking in the contentment area. It seems as though our generation has this new concept, that I don’t believe our parents (and certainly not our grandparents) ever thought of, the idea of deriving one’s happiness SOLELY from one’s work.

Now I would like to remind all of my friends – we are young and as Laragh (youandi365) stated, we are “in transition”. Simply because we have all found ourselves in roles that we relate to being “adults” (perhaps you have a mortgage, RRSP, TFSA, life insurance…or all of the above) we expect that we should all be settled in our identity and in turn that we should stop growing as individuals. I do not believe this is the case. I believe we must remember that a) not all of one’s contentment can be drawn from a single source (not a friend, a boyfriend, a hobby…or a job); b) where you are now as an “adult” does not necessarily predict where you will always be and c) as harsh as this sounds…not everyone can be happy at work.

I do not mean to say that everyone should dread getting up in the morning, simply that our generation has this idea that everyone in life should work only at what they love and not settle for less. I hate to break it to you guys….society doesn’t work like that. Yes, some people will be so lucky…but the other jobs must be done as well. Not every societal role will fill a deep engrained passion…but perhaps you can find something else that will.

Words of wisdom from my Father: “Work isn’t always what you love. Work is what ENABLES you to do what you love.”


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