There is a lot of career advice going around about finding and doing what you love, being passionate about your work, and money and happiness following.
There is also advice that says none of that works, and you need to be objective and realistic about your career choices. Love is the worst thing to be worried about in business. It blinds you, makes you think optimistically, take foolish risks.
There also lots of warnings not to chase success at the cost of love – there are many stories about that coming unstuck.
So it is no surprise that I have clients coming to coaching wanting to find work that they love, that they can be passionate about, that they can commit to completely. I have others who want to find work that will allow them to do what they love: be with their families and partners, enjoy their lives.
Love does seem to be a part of work and fulfilment. Successful people always seem to love what they do. They are energised by the work itself as much as by the rewards it brings. There seems to be a natural fit and flow with their working self. People successful in relationships also seem to be able to balance the demands of work on their other worlds.
But what part should love play in shaping your career choices? How much does love influence how you relate to the world of work?
Loving something, a child, partner, family or cause, can motivate and inspire us to do the work that needs to be done. However much we may not love the actual tasks in front of us, we can use the love of others to motivate us and inspire us. Especially when it is something we may not particularly want to do.
However, that does not mean a life of self-sacrifice and duty.
Loving ourselves as well, means that we will find balance with these choices in our life. If we understand and value ourselves, if we connect to our own inner world regularly, than we will also understand what we need to feel loved.
So rather than seeking out a perfect role in life, find what you love now, what gives you some satisfaction and joy, even just a little bit, and commit to that.
You will then tap into the energy to do the work that needs to be done, to create the structure to make dreams a reality. When there are obstacles and rough patches, you will have the inspiration and motivation to take them on: to learn, develop and find what support you need to get to the next stage. You will be working hard, maybe not towards a clear goal, but in line with your values.
The rest will, as they say, flow.