Does It Really Matter if You Love Your Job?
A lot of people say it doesn’t matter much if you love your job. If you do, that’s great — it’s a bonus. But the main purpose of a job is to put food on the table, and actually liking what you do is secondary.
This is actually bad advice. There are lots of reasons, but let me mention just one: if you don’t love your job, you risk being a poor steward.
I’m not talking here about people who have no choice in the matter. In the NT exhortations on work, slaves are the best example here. A slave had little or no control over his work, and Paul said “don’t worry about it — you are serving the Lord in what you do, and he values it and will reward you” (see 1 Corinthians 7:21; Colossians 3:23-24).
But we aren’t slaves, and we do have a choice in our work. This increases our responsibility to choose wisely. And it that choice in what we do for our work is a stewardship.
And here’s how that relates to why you should do your best to seek out a job you love (or, sometimes better, turn your job in to something you love most of the time): you will be more effective in your job if you love it.
We can, of course, work hard in jobs that we don’t love. But the extra effort, the mastery that takes us above and beyond and makes us maximally effective, is fueled by enthusiasm. To the extent that you lack this enthusiasm for the activities of your work, you will be less effective. You will not be able to stretch and push yourself and grow in your knowledge and skill as highly as you could otherwise.
Which means you will not be contributing as much as you could. Which is another way of saying: you won’t be making the difference you could and serving others to the extent that, perhaps, is truly needed. You will be leaving things on the table — things that could have benefited others, and wouldn’t have necessarily required much more from you because, after all, you have to work anyway.
I don’t necessarily want to say here that it is wrong to settle for a job you don’t love. But I do want point out that finding a job you love is not ultimately a matter of serving yourself. It’s a matter of serving others, because you will be more effective for the sake of others if, most of the time, your job is something you love.