Do What You Love

I posted this article in the roundup a few weeks ago about the Do What You Love (DWYL) motto but since then I've had quite a few conversations about it. The mantra "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" is pervasive among my generation and within the blogging community. I thought the article was thought provoking and brought up the flip side of DWYL and how it impacts those who aren't privileged enough to have that option and also those who are able to do it but aren't fairly compensated.

What do you think? If that version is too long here are some quotes from the article and a summary from Hairpin:

"There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate— and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.

“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is an unmerited privilege, a sign of that person’s socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and cosign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can self-righteously bestow DWYL as career advice to those covetous of her success.

If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves— in fact, to loving ourselves— what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.

(DWYL) shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.
And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love."


1 comment

  1. Truth. I like my job, even love it most days, but there is still a healthy amount of dislike/feeling of being mediocrely (is that a word?) satisfied. And I think that is totally normal. It helps me to enjoy my days off so much more:)