Monday, 31 August 2015

Do What You Love May Mean Do What You Don't, First.




Walking towards Liverpool Street Underground Station a couple of weeks back, my friend pointed out this writing on the full-length window of a building which he thought was a good backdrop for a photo. Amidst surroundings where men are sartorially spruced up in their bespoke suits and women can knock down passers-by with their expensively heeled confident stride, I wondered if the writing on the glass wall is relevant at all to their daily grind.



When people say "do what you love", it's immediately associated with what one does for a living. A person is a success story when compensated for doing what they love. It has guided me in my choice of career early on in my life. In my last year in my degree, we took a series of evaluation tests to find out our suitable work environment. Mine fell into the work-equals-play category. I thought I'd be at work for the most part of my life, why not be in one where it's fun? My dreamy twenty-something self had no idea a professional life would be a lot tougher than my academic cradle.



Liverpool Street, London, August 2015 (photo by Will Tomada using HTC One)



The reality is that not all of us can earn our keep doing what we love, but I have learnt and discovered that we can certainly find a job that although doesn't fulfil us in all aspects that we would love to, can pay for the bills, the rent or mortgage, without handouts from our parents or siblings or taxpayers, and preserve our sanity to have the energy and inspiration to do what we love outside the boardroom.

I'm not one of those extremely lucky ones who love their jobs, but I have so much respect for mine as it allows me to practice my core skills that would otherwise be wasted in another area in my industry which can allow me to generate more income but is guaranteed to give my morale a good battering. Some of these core skills relate to written and verbal communication, problem solving, and interpersonal, which modern apprenticeship programs in the UK are focusing on as employers claim their younger recruits are lacking, some despite their university degrees. Most of the time though, these skills are innate and cannot be taught. For all its faults, misconceptions by outsiders, and despite my occasional encounters with vile creatures whose egos suck out the best of my mental faculties, the intangible fringe benefits are far more enriching than the monetary side of it. Over the years and across continents, I've come to learn and understand that my professional fulfilment are measured not by impressive titles or swanky work address, but by having sufficient time, disposable income, and supportive environment. The latter is very important as it sets the parameters of a work-life balance. I'm privileged early on in my work life to do what I dreamt of as a young woman, but it quickly dawned on me that outward appearances have no place in the practicalities of growing up. Yes, I was doing what I love, but had it not been for my parents who backed me up then, I would have starved. 


When we no longer have the luxury of parental support or do not have the cushion of an inheritance (in a previous post, I said I wish my dad was a one-hit wonder so I can leisurely work and live off his song's royalties and buy a lake to personally name),  we have to be a little bit more clever than how we were in school or when we were younger. By clever, I don't mean getting another degree (go ahead by all means if you can afford it), but by acknowledging that to do what we love, we may have to do what we don't. To eventually do what we love is a process, an evolution which can take time, but we can work on it and through it. 

This blog I love. I love the research that goes with every post. I learn a considerable amount of new information. And I love learning. Through my posts, I exchange thoughts with others. I look forward to taking photos and diligently editing them, watermarking, and archiving them. I love the late nights and early mornings spent writing and editing, hoping to have regular posts for dedicated readers. For all of these, I don't earn a penny. Not yet anyway. As earning from it is not my primary goal, I'm free from the soul-destroying pressure of constantly strategising to rake in the money. That's for my job. Or odd jobs. But not for my sanctuary.


Decisions, circumstances, and major life shifts changed my career route. It's been quite a tough journey, so along the way, I learnt a very important lesson on reworking my goals and purpose: that is, to be kind to myself.  And kindness is about not pushing myself too hard adhere to societal definitions and descriptions of life choices and events.  I do what I love in my own terms. 




Liverpool St, August 2015 (photo by Chris Bramaje)



I asked my friend who lives close to Liverpool Street to take a professional photo of the same building for this blog post. It's been taken down. I realised that the space is occupied by New York property firm WeWork, which I believe is a company that lets high-end office space to start-ups. The latter have finally taken the challenge to strike out on their own, with an understanding that they have to play the corporate game. Sometimes, we need to compromise to do what we love.



If money, time, and responsibilities were not issues, what would you love to do?


16 comments:

  1. I think sometimes we can do what we love, but not get paid for it. I think we often associate doing what we love for a living or getting paid for it, but a lot of times, what we love can be an extra that we do after work to bring us joy or relaxation. Either way, I think it is very important to do what you love as you might end up regretting it later in life when it may be too late. xx

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    1. That's right. I pointed that out to a friend who believes I should be out there doing what I love. I said, I already am. At least through here. It doesn't have to mean a job, but could be a hobby. Thanks for your comment Kizzy, and advance happy birthday! x

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  2. Loved this Marj; very thought-provoking, I was nodding my way through each paragraph! I'm doing what I had planned to do since I was 16. I was always interested in nutrition, I studied nutrition at university and then I worked for a nutrition company before setting up on my own doing what I had always set out to do - Nutrition Consultancy - so I guess I am doing what I love, but my materialistic self also loves bags and shoes and 5* holidays and first class travel and my job does not allow me to indulge in these things as often as I would like - is that a problem, yes, sometimes, when I stand holding a Chanel bag on my shoulder in the shop mirror and this summer I haven't been on holiday because of being booked up with clients. In answer to your last question, I would like to continue doing what I do but in a different setting: my own offices that I could decorate/design how I like instead of renting, develop a range of products to boost my income and be able to have more annual leave without it compromising my income. I enjoy blogging and don't make a penny either but I have made some wonderful business contacts and some wonderful virtual (like you) and non-virtual friends and that counts for a lot too! xx

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    1. I actually thought of you when I was writing this, as you're one of the few I know who are doing what they love for a career. You're lucky to be able to do that. I think that when you love what you do, the rewards will eventually pour in, whether it has something to do with money or personal satisfaction. The bags and shoes come with being a women who dress up well. Maybe one day, you'll be sponsored by these brands? Who knows? Thank you for reading and leaving your thoughts on this post. Much appreciated xxx PS. Hope you get to do more travelling and more shopping :D

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  3. What a great blog post my Dear !:) I really like to read news from you !
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  4. Beautiful post, dear! I love learning too and, it's nice that you consider the blog your sanctuary... unluckily I am not able to express my thoughts in English with such precision, but I can understand your point of view and agree...
    p.s.
    I don't know if my job is what I wanted to do, but I try to do my best and ... "I do what I love in my own way!"
    .-)

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    1. You always express yourself beautifully dan. I wish I can speak your native language more. Doing what you love in your own way should be the case :)

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  5. Given the choice I'd be travelling non-stop and take nice photos. I already do some of it but not every day of my life. Yes, one has to compromise, be responsible and be able to support oneself but in addition one shouldn't give up on dreams and settle for second best.

    www.LUXESSED.com

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    1. COMPROMISE is the operative word. If you and I don't have to do that, we might bump into each other somewhere in our travels and adventures :)

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  6. I think in life and each day we should always learn something. Having a blog has helped me so much, because I love doing research and love to share my passions through my blog. It has actually helped my career in a big way. And, I agree, that sometimes we need to do things that we don't want to momentarily (to sustain ourselves) in order to get the outcome that we want. Success and luxuries do not usually happen or come to us overnight.
    Paper Art

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    1. I'm glad for you that blogging has helped your career in a big way :) I'd like to think that it's enlightening me on what I what to end up doing later in my life :)

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  7. I really liked reading this post, I think it's interesting to acknowledge that doing what we love is a great outlook, though often not doable. Finding compromises can be hard, but I'm glad you enjoy your job!

    If I could do anything I wanted, I would work in the fashion industry as a PR for a large design house. Oscar de la Renta would be amazing, especially as Erica Bearman has stepped down, creating an open position.

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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    1. All the best for you :) Wish that you'll find yourself doing what you'd love to do. Thank you for dropping by and leaving your thoughts. Much appreciated.

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  8. Amazing post..Well done! I really love your blog. Keep going.
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    Lady Fur

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