by Patrica Rose, Director of Career Services
Which is better, to do what you like or to like what you do? I started thinking about this last week while attending the theatre, when the question was posed by a character in Sunday in the Park with George, now playing here in Philadelphia. So many students and recent graduates, having been told to follow their passion, are intent on doing what they like, either in a particular field (you like art: find a job in a gallery) or a particular function (you like to write: find a job as a journalist or a speechwriter).
Too often, though, the result is a poor match. Although they are working in a field or function they love, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a perfect job. In fact, there is no job where you can do what you like all the time. All jobs have their drudgery. In fact, I think it is very hard to find a job where you can do what you like for the majority of the time, particularly at the entry level, when dues unfortunately have to be paid.
Some of the happiest people I know are successful in jobs or careers they happened into. They took a job because it was a) available, b) in a convenient location or c) because someone they knew helped them get the offer. They assumed they would do it for a while, and then move on, to something closer to their passion. But surprisingly, they discovered they liked the work, the people, the challenges. It turned out to be a great fit. They prospered. And almost every day when they go to work, they like what they do.
Therefore, my conclusion is that it is far better to like what you do. Do you agree with me?