I talk a lot about loving what you do for a living. Once you have seen the other side of a bad work situation, getting up before the alarm clock goes off because you want to get to work, it’s hard to even think about going back.
So, is it ever okay to do work that isn’t meaningful, or worse, that you hate? I think there are a few situations when that is exactly what you should do.
- When it buys you time for the next thing. It’s okay to hate your job as long as you’re doing something about it. Most of us can do anything for a short period of time, even endure a less than ideal job. The key is to create a plan and set checkpoints along the way to monitor your progress. Without a plan, you may find yourself doing the same thing five years from now – and that’s not okay.
- When it serves a bigger purpose. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice now for a payoff down the road. Lawyers don’t start out in the courtroom, they start out as research assistants doing grunt work. Maybe to achieve your ultimate dream you have to do something you hate now – and that is definitely okay.
- When it’s to provide for your family. This one is probably obvious, but if the decision is between putting food on the table or loving your job – pick the food. The good news is most of the time those aren’t the only two options, and you may just need to get creative. Check out Quitter by Jon Acuff for some ideas on how to transition to meaningful work without sacrificing your family.
So what did I miss? When else is it okay to hate what you do?