Do What You Love! Or don’t…

Tim Sackett Generations, Good HR, HR, Influence, Negotiation, Recognition, SHRM, Tim Sackett, Total Rewards, Trench HR, War for Talent

As an HR Professional I can’t tell you how many times over the past 2 decades I’ve either read or listen to some conference speaker go on poetically about how you need to “do what you love to at work.”  I’ve always called bullshit on this concept.  I’ve probably called bullshit because every single person that has told me this, or wrote it in an article, had one of two things happen to them: 1) They had another source of income allowing them to do what they loved (spouse, Lotto winner, inheritance, etc.); or 2) They had the dumb luck enough to fall into a great job/great career/great company scenario (right place, right time).   Now, they feel empowered to tell me to quit my 9 – to -5 and chase down my dream of being the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.   The problem with all of this is, I’m not stupid.  Believe me, at times I wish I was, I wish I was very stupid and could follow their nonsense down the rabbit hole – but my mind/body just won’t allow me to do this.  I have a family and the last time I checked, they like to eat and sleep in warm beds – this means I need to have somebody pay me money – and as much as I tried to marry a rich Jewish girl – she likes it better that I work and she gets to work out on a daily basis.

So, it erks me to no end when my favorite magazine Fast Company gives one more “prophet” some page space to tell me how to live my life.  Clayton Christensen recently wrote the book “How Will You Measure Your Life?” and this to say at FC:

“The point isn’t that money is the root cause of professional unhappiness. It’s not. The problems start occurring when it becomes the priority over all else, when you’ve satisfied the hygiene factors but the quest remains only to make more money. Herzberg’s theory of motivation suggests you need to ask yourself a different set of questions: Is this work meaningful to me? Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement? Am I going to learn new things?

Once you get this right, the more measureable aspects of your job will fade in importance. As the saying goes; find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I know I get it – money is evil – hug a f’ing tree – eat a bowl of granola – let’s sit around and smoke another bowl.

Sackadamus needs to lay down some new Graduate advice for the kiddos –

1. Money is not Evil – People are Evil.  If you make enough money you can get rid of evil people. (kind of like guns don’t kill people – people with guns, kill people – get it!)

2. You might have a job you don’t like – that is completely fine and normal.  Don’t lose your s#*t and quit because you need to find happiness.  It’s not the job, it’s you.

3. If you are lucky enough to have a job you love and money is paying your bills and allowing you to put a little away for savings – and you quit – you’re stupid and nobody should hire you.

4. If your parents pay your bills – live with them until you’re 40 – and save all the money you can, it’s the one true way to retire at 50.

5. If you’re good at your job (meaning – your boss tells you your good, not your mom) ask for more money, every chance you get.  Those who ask – get.  Those who don’t ask,  go through their career making less than those who asked.  A good worker never got fired for asking for more money – if done appropriately and professionally.