Why it’s Wrong to Look for Passion in Your Work

Dec 16, 2010

I hear a lot of people these days talking about how it’s important that you find work you are passionate about. They say you need to do work that you love. Well, I would like to disagree with those people. True, some people derive great pleasure from their work and this helps define them. That’s fine. However, I think it is a misconception that we need to all strive to have a business card that explains who we are and what we stand for. We don’t all need to define ourselves through our work.

For one, it isn’t necessary and for two, it’s not possible. You can’t help but agree with me that there are jobs out there that are pretty much impossible for anyone to become passionate about. This so called “passionate” work may also not allow you to live the lifestyle or family life you want because it may require you to move, work for less or work for long hours.

However, let’s go back to the fact that it isn’t necessary. There are lots of other things people can be passionate about besides work – family, hobbies, friends, charity work, sports and so forth. All of these things are excellent ways to find motivation, reason and joy in your life. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do work you enjoy. It is important to enjoy the work you do. No one wants to go to a job each day that they don’t like. However, don’t beat yourself up looking for passion in your work or thinking that there is something “missing” because other people talk about the zeal they have for their work.

If you are happy with what you do and enjoy the people you work with, then that’s great. You should feel lucky that you have this. Look for your passion outside of work. There are many areas that you can find it, in fact, you probably already have it. Do this and you will relieve yourself of an altogether unnecessary stress.