by Lim Zhi Rong
At some point of our life, you probably heard and came across this quote from a colleague, friend or read it somewhere:
'Do what you love and you'll never work another day'
This quote has a noble intent but I find it to be a poor career advice. Why do I think so? -
1. Doing What You Love Is Not Realistic
Maybe you love to host, be a doctor or an investment banker. But clearly, there are a host of reasons that make it unrealistic or hold you back.
Can hosting bring you a steady stream of income that you need for your family? Did you shape your initial education journey towards the path of medical science? Are you willing to go through the Monkey Business of swinging through the wall street jungle to become a investment banker?
2. The More You Love Your Job, The Harder You'll Work
I first read this concept from author Kat Boogaard and it resonated with me. Loving your job is a wonderful thing... but loving your livelihood requires hard work. It’s pretty much human nature to enjoy the things we’re good at. And, in order to be good at your position, you put in more efforts and work harder.
And when you love your work so much and work so hard for it, you may reach a tipping point where you don't love your work as much as before. And then love lost starts to happen...
3. You Don't Know What You Love to Do
There are people out there who don't know what they love to do. Ask around - students and working adults, you will be surprise to hear vague answers on the choices some have made.
Nothing wrong with not knowing what you love to do. After all, love can be hard to fathom at times. And sometimes, we need time to more time to find out what we are passionate about and love!
So, what's next? Go beyond Love, Look for Purpose. Choose a job where you can find Purpose, and it can be the reason you journey.
I first stepped into careerhood with Temasek Holdings, an investment holding company wholly owned by the Singapore Ministry of Finance (MOF). To understand the purpose of Temasek, there is a need to provide some context - Temasek was incorporated under the Singapore Companies Act in 1974 to own and commercially manage investments and assets previously held by the Singapore Government. These were investments made in the first decade of nation building since independence in 1965.
Temasek owns a S$266 billion portfolio as at 31 March 2015 and it seeks to maximize long term shareholder value for MOF. As a commercial investment holding company, Temasek pays dividends to MOF, who is the main shareholder. And MOF's mandate is clear - to create a better Singapore through Finance.
Working at Temasek provides a sense of purpose - contributions at Temasek enable the company to create sustainable value and generate returns on our investments for our shareholder MOF, who in turns creates a better Singapore through sound public finances and pro-growth fiscal system to make the country a world class business hub.
At The Linde Group, the world's leading industrial gas company, Linde is in the business of selling Air. We sell carbon dioxide to dry ice manufacturers, oxygen to hospitals, hydrogen as alternative fueling technologies and many more. We build Air Separation Units across the world and sell gases in a B2B environment. The purpose of Linde was clear - to harness the world's most abundant and free resource - Air - in a responsible way that benefits businesses and future generations. The company grew Purposefully.
At Mondelez International, the makers to some of our most beloved brands of Oreo and Cadbury, we believe in creating delicious moment of joy. Oreo and Cadbury have a rich heritage of over a 100 years. Clearly products that children and adults have grown together and love.
The brands create nostalgia, promote fun (when children dunks Oreo in milk with their parents) or simply, the act of eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. And endorphins are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain. All of these reasons and chemicals combine to make people happy when they eat chocolate.
Of course, snacking can be unhealthy. But hey - too much of anything is unhealthy. It is about mindful snacking. In fact, Mondelez took a step further by committing not to advertise our products in any media directed to children under age 12, irrespective of the product's nutritional profile. The Purpose was clear, fun and responsible.
So, is it True, False or Maybe that if you do what you love, you'll never work another day? Maybe, and I also encourage you to go beyond doing what you love. Here I quote from Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, 'Purpose gives a deeper meaning in life'.
I encourage you to not just seek love. Strive to also find purpose.
Purpose is the reason we journey.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.