work won't love you back
ABC 144: On the allure of treating work like family
After interviewing dozens of people about their careers, I’ve found three common risks of treating work as more than a job.
The first is a matter of expectations. When we look to work for transcendence, anything less than a dream job feels like a letdown. Second, by over-investing in our work, we run the risk of neglecting other aspects of ourselves. In the words of Esther Perel, too many people bring the best of themselves to work and bring the leftovers home.
The last risk is the most straightforward: Work might not always be there. When the call, or the contract, or the career has ended, what’s left? This has been particularly visible during a period where millions have lost their jobs and every working person has had to negotiate new ways of working. But even before the pandemic, I’ve been surprised by how many people have told me stories of career disillusionment.
This week’s piece offers a common refrain. The author thought her workplace was her family. Then, shit hit the fan. What I loved about the piece is its nuance. She got a lot of value from work as a source of community, purpose, and fulfillment—not to mention meals and healthcare.
What, then, is the line between looking for meaningful work and setting yourself up for disappointment? If you’re anything like the 1,985 people who commented on the article, the piece will strike a chord. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s the piece: After Working at Google, I’ll Never Let Myself Love a Job Again
P.S. Spring has sprung which means I’m listening to a lot more music that makes you want to walk around in a T-shirt, like this song.
P.P.S. If you’ve got a friend that might dig the ABC, send ‘em here.