Is loving what you do important? Hmm… I think yes and no! I’m going to explain both sides of this. First of all, let me start by saying to anyone who is young or just starting out in your career. You’re probably never going to look like the dude above every morning when it’s time to go to work. You’ll more than likely look like this every evening when it’s time to leave work. If you do look like this every morning, you are probably on some really potent drugs and should seek help immediately! I’m just kidding! Sort of… If you’ve found a job that makes you that happy, you’ve found a unicorn so cherish it forever!
I’ve been a full-time mechanic for 13 years and I can truthfully say that I love what I do. However, this has not always been the case. I have always had an interest in repairing vehicles, but I didn’t start to love it until 9 years ago. The first four years, there were times I despised it and tried getting out of the business completely. People tend to love things that they are good at, and in the beginning, I wasn’t very good. On top of that, I didn’t like my place of employment which made things even worse.
Soon as things started clicking and I could see myself getting better day by day, is when I fell in love with what I do. After that, it was game over. I didn’t want to be good, I wanted to be great. At this point, everything became easier. I was working 12 hours a day alongside my foreman, then going home at night, doing my training and enjoyed every minute of it. It was non stop learning. I was gaining knowledge from every possible source. I am fortunate, I inherited an insane work ethic from my hardworking parents which have played a huge role throughout my career. I have worked 18 hour days and slept at work in the past, just to show you an example of what I mean by an insane work ethic.
When I decided to choose this as a career path, I was told it wasn’t a good choice. That the only way to be successful and make good money nowadays was to go college and get a degree. Early in my career, I actually believed this and I didn’t have high expectations financially. As I became a better mechanic, my paycheck started to increase, this is when things changed. Money started to become the driving factor. I developed a chip on my shoulder, but not in a bad way. I was just starting to realize my worth as an employee and how much money I make for the company. I started to think to myself “why can’t I make good money?! This is a skilled labor job, and I’m highly skilled.” When I say good money, I’m not talking Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos type money. I’m talking 75k/yr and up. If you work for or ever have been to a dealership, then you know the labor rate. There is no reason I wouldn’t be able to make at least that!
I have a close friend that has a masters degree in business. I would get into detail about exactly what he does, but I honestly don’t know. He makes himself sound so important, about two sentences into him telling you what he does for a living, you just stop listening. I think he’s a brand manager for a company who makes or sells sunglasses, but when he gets done talking you’ll think he’s in charge of developing a pair of sunglasses that will change society forever. He’ll have you thinking that Trump calls him on Sunny days asking which sunglasses to wear! This guy can sell himself for sure.
That friend I mentioned above is big into education. He looks down on people without a college education. Even people with college education, if it’s not a masters degree. My other friends and I call him “better boy” which if it’s not obvious, because he thinks he is better than everyone. Better boy gets on my nerves very often, but he has also been a huge part of the chip on my shoulder. I thank him for this in my head, but would never give him the satisfaction of telling him! Every time he gets a raise, we have to go out and celebrate it. The celebration is usually in my head though… Every time he throws out his new salary to rub in our faces, I get to chuckle inside because I make more money than him. He doesn’t know this of course, and I’ll never tell him because it’s much more enjoyable this way!
Now I’m at the point of my career where money is what matters most to me. I still do and always will strive to be the best mechanic, but money is why I go to work every day. This is easy for me to say because I’m not in the situation, but I don’t care about loving what I do. If I were offered a job making more money to do something I didn’t like, I’d take it in a heartbeat! Who knows if I’d regret it, but I’d still do it. I don’t care about being happy at work. The only reason I’m here is to make money to enjoy my life outside of work. I would go to work 40 hours a week being miserable if I know I could afford to do more of things I enjoy in my free time. Working is for money, if it supposed to be fun then you’d do it for free. Working conditions are another thing that I don’t care about and in the last year I was on many interviews. This is something they preach. ” The work environment here is amazing! Once a month the employees get free massages. Employees get their birthdays off. We have an employee appreciation dinner once a month.” And my thoughts to this… “Dude, what you smoking, dope? I don’t give a fu** about the work environment. How about you pay me enough so I can afford to get my own massage if I want?! Birthdays off? Grow the fu** up! Give me enough personal days to pick and choose when I want off! Appreciation dinner? If you appreciate me, show it to me in my paycheck! I’ll spend 60 hours a week with you people and that’s more than enough. I don’t want to spend any more time with you than I have to”. Obviously, I never said this to someone. It did get to the point where I would tell them not to try and sell me on work environment or perks, sell me on the money.
After reading the paragraph above, I probably sound like an A-hole and it may even sound like I dislike my job. Both are incorrect! I love the place I work, the people I work with/for, and what I do! I am trying to emphasize the fact that I would give all that up for more money because work is just working to me! I could be wrong. If I had and took the opportunity, I may regret it, but I doubt that. I have become very good at leaving work at work.
If I had to pick one side or the other. I would pick yes, “you have to love what you do”. You are more likely to be good at something that you love and are interested in than something you dislike or have no interest in. That will make you more marketable and valuable as an employee. If you are offered a job doing something that you dislike for more money, I’d still say take it! If you are someone who has a job making good money, but hates what you do and disagrees with me… Well, quit your high paying job, give up your lavish lifestyle, and go do something you love that pays less… I bet you just responded “No”.