The Worst Piece of Career Advice I Ever Received

And I will never follow it

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

I recently left a toxic work culture. On my way out I received terrible career advice from a colleague.

Upon hearing this golden nugget, I rushed to my friends and burst forth with this great piece of wisdom. They too laughed, because it was given in earnest but was disturbing to the point of humor. Surely there are not people that live by this? But I suppose there are.

The advice:

Work is meant to make you miserable because otherwise, no one would pay you for it.

I could not believe what I was hearing. Where does that logic come from?

There are lots and lots of people that do work that they enjoy. Work that was once their hobby. Work they turned into their passion.

Why must work be unenjoyable?

I did not enjoy the work at the previous firm I worked at. I hated it. It was soul-destroying. It was boring and it lacked variety.

I think I was depressed while working there. I hated Sunday evenings because I knew I had to go to work the next day. So I left.

I wasn’t seriously looking when another job offer popped up and I leaped at the chance to leave. It was the best decision I made. I started to enjoy practicing law again and soaked up all the new knowledge I was acquiring.

I enjoy the job I do now. And I get paid for it.

My colleague was wrong. Work does not need to be boring, uninspiring and passionless.

Work can be the thing you enjoy the most. I intend to live my life enjoying the work I do and finding meaning in it. I don’t intend to feel miserable just for a paycheck at the end of the month.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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