Should You Love Your Job?
According to the graduates I interviewed in my book ‘1000 Years Of Career Advice’, yes you should!
The book interviews 100 graduates 10 years on from university about their career paths and advice for the younger generation.
In the book, the interviewees offer lots of different pieces of career advice, one that kept coming up again and again was:
‘Do something you enjoy doing, you will excel at it, and you won’t see it as work’
For this blog post, I’m going to take a cross-section of the interviewees and talk about why they advise doing something you enjoy. You will hear from:
- Gemma, 32 – Management Consultant
- Asaf, 31 – Finance Manager
- Sam, 34 – Account Manager
- Tom, 30 – Property Director
- Colm, 35 – Entrepreneur
- Amy, 31 – Account Director
- Gareth, 33 – Senior Account Director
- Kathryn, 38 – Recruitment Manager
- Richie, 33 – Managing Director
Should You Love Your Job? – Gemma, (32) Management Consultant
‘Don’t settle for something that is not that interesting.
You spend a lot of your life at work, you could do something with less pay, or longer hours, but if you are passionate about it, then give it a go and see if you like it’
Gemma works long hours but finds her work very interesting. She prepares presentations for CEOs of major companies and looks at how they can improve their operations.
Should You Love Your Job? – Asaf, (31) Finance Manager
‘Don’t force yourself to do a 9-5, it’s not for everyone.
If you are very keen to get a big corporate job, I would say take your time and have a think about it.
If you are good at something you think you can excel in, then do that – happiness, money, and security will come after’
Asaf has worked in finance for 10 years but he doesn’t really enjoy it.
It’s taken him 10 years of trying different finance roles to realise that. Now he is in his 30’s he regrets he didn’t pursue his interests in media/music when he was in his 20’s.
Should You Love Your Job? – Sam, (34), Account Manager
‘Treat university as a learning experience for what you want to learn about, not what you want to do.
Commit yourself to something that you love, you will come out of university richer and more knowledgeable than you can imagine’
Sam did journalism as his undergraduate degree.
He thought he had to decide his future career from an early age. At 17 he wanted to be a journalist, but at university, he realised it was not for him.
Looking back, he wishes he did a degree that he was more interested in and then figured out what he wanted to do career-wise after university.
Should You Love Your Job? – Tom, (30), Property Director
‘I would say find out exactly what you like, ask yourself what’s the thing that you like most?
If it doesn’t lend itself to making money, do you like it enough to be able to make money out of it?
For the really successful people, work for them is not work, it is their hobby.
They are so interested in their work, they always think about it, and it becomes easy for them. If you can find whatever that is for you, then you will do very well’
Tom works for his family property business.
He spent his 20’s working in banking/finance roles that he didn’t really like.
It’s only now that he is doing a job that he really enjoys he wishes he would have started working in property a lot sooner.
Should You Love Your Job? – Colm, (35), Hostel Owner/Entrepreneur
‘Working as an accountant, I didn’t enjoy the work, I just thought it was a job and you had to get on with it.
Now after setting up my owning business, I realise that you absolutely can love your job’
Colm set up and runs a 180 bed-hostel in Peru, prior to this he worked as an accountant for a Big 4 Accounting firm.
He doesn’t see his job as work, he helps people have the time of their lives on a daily basis.
Should You Love Your Job? – Amy, (31), Account Director
‘Focus on what you’re good at, work hard at it and the right opportunity will present itself.
Whatever you do, don’t follow someone else’s path. If you stick to what you love doing, you won’t go wrong’
Amy works for one of the world’s leading creative agencies, she has created TV adverts for big well-known brands for the last 10 years.
She pursued a career in advertising as she was interested in the people side of things and the psychology of ‘selling’ ideas.
Should You Love Your Job? – Gareth, (33), Senior Account Director
‘Think about what you like, you don’t want to end up studying something that you are not interested in. Think about what you might enjoy doing and go get work experience to test and see whether you do like it’
Gareth had an interest in marketing when he was doing his A levels but wasn’t sure about doing a full marketing degree so he did a broad commerce degree to keep his options open.
He got some work experience working as a marketing intern for a big consumer brands company while at university and loved it.
He admits himself he was lucky as he knew what he was interested in. If you don’t know, try everything you can, use the process of elimination to understand what you like and don’t like doing.
Interested in a career in Marketing? Check out my interview with Sarah, 33, Marketing Brand Manager
Should You Love Your Job? – Kathryn (38), Recruitment Manager
‘Coming out of school, you just need to do a course that you are going to pass, don’t overstretch yourself.
I took subjects which I dropped for ones that I knew I would pass. Pick something you like and excel at it, instead of struggling at something because people think it’s a better option’
Kathryn picked subjects she thought she had to do instead of picking subjects she liked.
Looking back, she realises the subjects she thought she had to do were in no way relevant to her career.
She advises studying what you really enjoy as you will find it easier and get better grades.
Should You Love Your Job? – Richie, 33, Managing Director
‘I really should have done history, and maybe some IT subjects as that was what I liked.
I picked a business subject and a language as I thought that was what the world needed, and that was stupid, but you are young at the time you don’t know.
University is meant to be fun, I struggled, I failed exams, I repeated in the summer, it wasn’t fun for me, I should have picked things that I like’
Richie is now a very successful businessman who runs his own company employing 11 people.
Not picking subjects he liked in university had a huge impact on his early career. If he’d have picked subjects he liked would he be even more successful now?