Working at Something You Love

This one’s a bit more like an old-school LJ post than the…well, whatever it is that this blog’s known for. Just wanted to warn you before we got started.

I’ve had the opportunity to make money in a field I loved three times so far in my life. I’ve worked, tangentially, in the music industry, in sport, and now in entertainment. My experience is that this is a mixed blessing at best. When what you love become your job, there’s not guarantee that the love will survive. Once you’re behind the scenes, you’re not really involved in the fun part of the business that drew you to it in the first place. You’re in an office, or working as a contractor, and the nature of the work isn’t hugely different than what you’d find in any other office.

Suddenly, what you love is now associated with all of the petty frustrations that come with working for a corporation. Working with spreadsheets is pretty much the same thing whether you’re looking at general ledger entries or basketball statistics. It’s easy to lose sight of what you love about what you’re doing. In fact, sometimes, it’s inevitable.

For me, the key to staying sane and avoiding the bitterness that comes with realizing that your dream job looks an awful lot like the job you just left is to step back from time to time and just experience the end product. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes, it can remind you that what you’re doing, which may not always be special in and of itself, is a part of something that is special.

Which is a long way of saying that I don’t quite think I could claim to love my job, but I can honestly say that I love the final product that my job is part of creating. Most days, that’s good enough.

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