Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.  Do what you love, and the money will follow.   We’re all familiar with these frequently quoted lines.  They seem to drive us to seek out that dream career, the one where we won’t face the day-to-day drudgery.  There’s a new train of thought, however, that questions the reality of this and asks: do we really need to love our jobs?

In LinkedIn’s new podcast, Hello Monday, Jessi Hempel broached this topic with writer Elizabeth Gilbert.   She has the mindset that it’s okay not to love our jobs and that it’s even okay not to pursue a career. 

Elizabeth starting with defining four terms that are often confused with each other, despite being distinctly different:  

  • A HOBBY is something you do for the sheer pleasure of doing it, and no other reason. It’s simply fun or relaxing for you.


  • A JOB is a necessary mechanism to ‘pay the bills.’  


  • A CAREER is a job you’re truly passionate about and often encompasses many long work hours.


  • A VOCATION is like a calling on your life: a strong feeling of suitability for a career or occupation.

She continued by saying if you don’t like your career, then quit and get a job.  Or, if you want more, then find a job that can become a career.  You can also pursue a vocation while holding a job.  Some people only want a job and find enjoyment and fulfillment in activities outside of work. 

For Elizabeth, writing was a vocation to her, but not necessarily a job or career.  It didn’t earn her a living until she wrote her hit book Eat, Pray, Love.  And she would have been okay if she had never written a hit book because she was doing what she loved. 

Have you considered where you might fall when it comes to working?

In growing in your career, consider how far up the ladder you want to go.  With each rung, responsibility and stress increase with monetary compensation.  Is it worth it to you?  Even if you love what you do, it can still feel like work.   

All this to say – it’s okay not to LOVE your job.   What’s important is that you find some enjoyment in what you do and utilize your natural talents. 

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