Would you do your Job if you Didn’t Get Paid for it? (reader poll)
“If you wouldn’t do your job for free, then find a new one.”
I’m not sure who originally came up with this notion, but I’ve heard a number of my colleagues and a number of writers say it recently. Or similarly, they will say:
“If you don’t love what you do, then quit.”
There are idealists. And then there are IDEALISTS, I suppose.
I’m not sure where this meme came from, but it’s been spreading like wildfire in the workforce.
The ideology goes something like this:
- We spend a minimum of 8-12+ hours per day doing our jobs.
- Life is short and precious.
- If you don’t love what you do, you might as well move on until you find something that you do love.
And when they say “love”, they mean, you love it so much, you’d do it for free.
Novel concept, right?
Now, obviously, there is recognition that in order to survive you need to make an income. I *think* that those who repeat this meme want you to assume that you are financially independent. In other words, money is not an objective (otherwise, who would do a job for free?). That kind of goes back to the older meme:
“What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money?”
Admittedly, that’s a bit different because we’d all play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!, watch football, drink beer, and dine out at luxurious restaurants, no? That’s why the newer memes are more focused specifically on careers.
And they sound great, in theory. But there are obviously fears, doubts, and other considerations that one may decide to take into account before dumping their job. For example:
- Is it realistic in this economy to leave a good paying job?
- Is it realistic when you’ve spent years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find that you do not like your career?
- Is it realistic when you have a job and so many others are struggling to get one?
- Is it realistic when “the grass is always greener”?
- Is it realistic when you have a family to support?
- Is it realistic when you are tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt?
It always seems to come down to money.
Or maybe money is just the excuse that is preventing us from taking risks and living more fulfilling, satisfied lives.
We can save that discussion for the comments.
For starters, I’m curious to see how many of you are actually loving your jobs so much that you’d do it (within reason) for free. Please fill in some color commentary on what you do if you answered ‘yes’. If you answered ‘no’, what kind of job would you do for free?