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"Love Your Job" Career Advice Faces Blogger Backlash

Must people will never love their job. So what?If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, there are few questions that flummox Gen Y quite so much as how to find a job you love. Career counselors of all stripes insist young people love what they do. Problem is, many people just can't seem to find a path that generates quite that much passion and spend years searching for that one career choice that will transform the daily grind into happy fun time and give meaning to their lives. But maybe the problem isn't that we can't find the careers we love, maybe the problem is thinking that such a thing is necessary. At least that's what Life Without Pants blogger Matt Cheuvront thinks:
We are so anxious (including myself) to preach that work/life balance is a myth â€" and the only way is to integrate the two into one happy passionate lifestyle where you absolutely love what you do every single day.
My question: Do you need to LOVE your job to be happy? To me, love is a strong word â€" a word that shouldn't even be used for your work. Love your spouse, love your kids, love your dog; A job? That doesn't require love. It requires commitment, dedication, hard work, maybe even passion â€" but not love.
Cheuvront is not alone in questioning the whole "love what you do" career advice mantra. Outspoken blog Punk Rock HR has also questioned how many of us should really spend our working life chasing dreams:
Do you want to be an anchorwoman? Love musical theater? Are you interested in sculpture? Pursue those passions and be prepared to live the life of an artist, which is complete with crushing disappointment and poverty. Happiness comes in alternative ways, and you will work twice as hard for every single penny you earn.
Want to buy stuff at the mall, have an apartment/house without cockroaches, and pay your cell phone bill? Solve a problem. Meet a customer's need. Build something.
Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist fame also concurs, calling "do what you love", "one of the worst pieces of career advice." I think she's right (and that's something I rarely say). If you are truly the type of person who should struggle and suffer to be an artist, travel photographer, stand-up comedian or whatever, you're probably already painting, shooting and telling jokes and only questioning your decision to do so in a few late night moments of darkness. If you spend your days searching for what you love to do, maybe it's time focus instead on the things you already know make you happy and find a career that allows you to do them without adding misery.

Go ahead, you don't have to feel guilty about your job being just a job.

(Street art image by eddiedangerous, CC 2.0)

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