The Perils of Doing What You Love

Do you have to love your workplace to love your craft?

Even when you love your craft, you can end up in workplaces that give you a rough time. Is it worth it? One of my interviewees this week thinks it is… until it’s not.

Sometimes, it’s worth putting up with a difficult workplace situation, if you are gaining something of value from it. You see, it depends on where you are in your career, and what you win at the same time as what you lose from that particular job role. You may have a rough time with a manager that keeps you on your toes, doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve, or doesn’t reward you for your work. But, is that manager concurrently teaching you something? Are there things you can learn from that person even if your personalities don’t perfectly gel? 

The perils of doing what you love.

We may not always see the benefit at the time of the problematic situations, but when we look back, we see that those challenging moments have taught us something that helps us to grow. It’s why there is so much emphasis placed on the prevalence of failing numerous times before succeeding.

The key to successfully managing stressful workplaces is to decide how much you’re willing to endure, and whether the values you gain outweigh the mental resources the situation is taking from you. Once you’ve decided to stay put for the foreseeable future, then you must find ways to cope with the challenges. For example:

  • Focus on the valuable industry skills you’re gaining
  • Consider what management or leaderships skills you’re learning – e.g., how not to manage!
  • Think about whether there are factors you could change in your approach to affect how others treat you
  • Look after yourself outside of work
  • Let the people in your network (family, friends, and work) know that you’re having a difficult time. A problem shared…

Having careers we love isn’t all roses.

As the saying goes, ‘nothing worth having comes easily.’  Sometimes we have to go through difficult spots to learn something valuable to our craft, and to learn things about ourselves. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep striving for something that brings more joy to our careers than we have currently; it means that we need to see the good in the bad and use it to our benefit.

However, there comes a point when your circumstances change and what was acceptable to endure at one point in your career because you gained some value from it, becomes no longer acceptable. Perhaps your family circumstances have changed, or your financial needs are suddenly greater. Whatever the reason, regularly assessing your values will tell you whether the difficult situation is worth enduring or if it’s time to pack up your stuff and move your butt along. Remember…

‘If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t see the view.’

If you’re someone who loves your work, or you know someone else who does, check out the Red Ponder #LoveToWork projects and let me know if you’d like to take part! I’d love to hear from you!


Love to Work!




The Perils of Doing What You Love

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