Do What You Love! Or don’t…

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.


FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. Hilarious and very down-to-earth. I like it! Your article goes hand in hand with all those “how to be happy at work” articles.

  2. Kelli L. says:

    I thought this was light-hearted and topical, and I agree with everything except the following statement
    “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.”

    I also agree that it’s totally normal to have a job that you dislike, but sometimes it really is the job, not the person. The work might be boring, or you might have a bad boss, or you’re actually doing something you don’t like just to pay the bills. I agree not to quit just to find your life’s true meaning, but consider looking for another job that makes you less unhappy. I will follow up by saying, try not to quit your current job until you have a new one lined up. Not disrupting the cash flow tends to make people happier too.

  3. Tim Sackett says:

    Kelli –

    I totally get your point! I think I’m going on the side of way too many people thinking it’s the job and jumping to “greener” pastures, only to find out it’s not the job, it’s there messed up perception that work should be a playground and not suck sometimes. I love my job, I have fun at my job – but not all the time – many times it’s stressful and it sucks and I want to go home and take a nap – but that’s life and it’s why they pay me and I’m not doing this for free!

    Great advice on not quitting your job until you have another one! How many times have I interviewed someone who left a job because they didn’t like it, before having another one lined up – Recruiters naturally don’t trust that is the case. So much easier to find a job when you’re working, than when you’re not working!


  4. After twenty something years as an HR practitioner I made a change. I enjoyed a true generalist’s dream career … white collar, major corporations, local and Federal governments, blue collar, union production environment and a web based employment recruitment organization. I swallowed the kool-aid every time; lived each company’s mission, vision and values. I never over thought the “happy shit” I just was.

    Back in the years when companies paid for conferences and association dues we enhanced our careers as tireless local chapter and state council volunteers. As a member of (one of the first) HR Tampa study groups we became certified before it was popular. I never over thought the “happy” shit, I just was.

    (Never having the dumb luck enough to fall into a great job/great career/great company scenario) I was downsized at 55 years old without another source of income. I decided it was time for a change and never looked back. My point? I still refuse to over think this “happy” shit, I just am.

  5. HASHIM says:

    Try to love what you do until you are able to do what you love. Doesn’t this sum it up?!!!

    I agree with you wholeheartedly.

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