Whether we feel fulfilled often has a lot to do with our work (and work can mean a lot of things), as well as how we balance our work with our personal lives.
There seem to be two camps of thinking on this front:
1. Find a job you love, and do not settle for less.
2. Be happy working a job you don’t love if it allows you to pursue your love on the side.
Until recently, I believed in No. 1. I saw people working jobs they didn’t like, and couldn’t make sense of why they bothered. I found a profession I loved — journalism — so I figured everyone could find an enjoyable way to make money if they tried hard enough.
To an extent, I still believe this — or want to. Even if you can’t find a job you love, if you hate your work, chances are you can find something you like better.
But I’m also starting to come around to the idea of No. 2. Largely because I’m realizing that my love, journalism, is flawed. Yet even if I don’t love it, even if I only like it, it allows me — both financially and time-wise — to pursue other loves on the side. For me, those side loves are writing and blogging and learning. Maybe yours is travel. Or knitting. Or astronomy. For the record, family also counts as a passion, which means working to spend time with or money on your family counts, too.
The deal-breaker is when you’re in a job you don’t love and it doesn’t afford you the time or money to pursue your passions on the side.
Do you love your job, or do you work your job so you can do what you love?