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"Work Is Not Supposed to be Enjoyable" - A Rebuttal To That Notion

Updated on May 18, 2010

Who says you can't enjoy what you do for a living?

A few weeks ago I was reading an article online - I think it was on MSN.com - about people who were stressed, burned out, and unhappy in their jobs and how best to cope with those feelings when they arose.

I can't remember any specifics about the article itself, but I do recall very clearly one written comment that affected and upset me quite a bit.

The comment said, in effect, that those folks who were stressed out and feeling miserable in the workforce, whether due to too many hours on the job, not enough pay or bullying abuse by supervisors and managers, are whiny crybabies who need to understand that work is not supposed to be enjoyed.

According to this individual, work is supposed to be difficult, which is why it's called work, and people who feel otherwise are losers who should just get over themselves and be glad that they are earning a paycheck in this economy.

At the very least, that was the message I got from this particular comment.

I will admit that the guy who made that post-article statement had a point, in the sense that with this country's economy being as bad as it has been these past couple of years - double digit unemployment and a large avalanche of foreclosures plaguing the land - anyone who is gainfully employed needs to give thanks for that, the alternative being devastatingly unthinkable.

However...

I must strongly and vehemently disagree with anyone who believes that being in the workforce has to be a constant life of harsh drudgery. In my view, people who feel that way are extremely unhappy souls who are devoted to the saying "misery loves company".

A career needs not to be unenjoyable; it does not have to eight or more hours of hell in the salt mines. One spends a third of their life in the workplace - that's a lot of time, so if such is the case, one better be damn sure that what they are doing for a job or a career is something that they want to do.

Don't get me wrong - I understand that sometimes a person has to do whatever is necessary to survive, and feed his family if he has one. I once worked as a luggage salesman in a mall for eight months. I hated that job so much that it felt like a maximum security prison sentence, and in a way I was glad when I was let go, but at least I was earning a paycheck.

Money can not be the only motivator in the workplace, though. I used to feel that way, and it led me to being miserable in the majority of the jobs I had over the years. The luggage salesman gig taught me a very important life lesson: That you have to like what you do, or else it's not worth it. The salary I earned peddling suitcases and handbags felt like blood money to me; I felt like a paid slave on a plantation.

I once heard someone say that if you do what you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life. No statement could ever be truer that that.

The point I am trying to make here is this: A person needs to have passion in whatever job or profession he or she is in. Happiness and enjoyment in the workplace is very important, or else bitterness and depression may ensue. I know it did for me at many of the positions I had.

Wanting to get enjoyment out of my work is a primary reason why I am currently a freelance writer. It fits my personality well in that I can express myself freely and do my own thing without a slavery-era style overseer, I mean supervisor, breathing down my neck. I'm not making much money as of yet - that will come in due time - but I can truthfully say that I like what I do. I am pursuing my passion, which I feel is a big part of what life is all about.

So to all you folks out there who are hating on their jobs, you don't need to have feelings of bitter misery. Go paint or captain a sailboat. Become a teacher or a coach. Write a book (like I'm doing); do something you are passionate about. Follow your dreams. Find your happiness.

It may just be the thing that will preserve your sanity.

 

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