Do what you love

Restaurant table

Image by Photo Monkey.

Here is a blog by a woman called Penelope Trunk. She is a writer and entrepreneur, and has founded three start-ups. She writes lots of career advice, including time management tips, how to get a job, why you shouldn’t go back to graduate school to avoid the recession, etc. She also writes about her family, and heads up: she writes about her experience of domestic violence. There is a photo of her bruise. I am not going to criticise a woman who is the subject of domestic violence for her controversial views on this.

But here is another of her controversial ideas. She writes that “do what you love” is bad career advice. Her justification is that a) you will do what you love anyway, even if you don’t get paid for it and b) you will love doing several things, so don’t waste time lying awake at night wondering which one you should do.

It got me thinking about what I love doing. I love writing and I love cooking, for example, but I would never consider making cooking my career. One of the things that really frustrated me about MasterChef was the way starry-eyed contestants thought it would be so much more fun and less stressful to be a professional chef than a lawyer/accountant/postgrad student. They seemed to think it would be all about wandering around in their kitchen garden and cooking from the heart and making people happy and sunshine and ponies.

I don’t know much about the restaurant industry, but I thought about the impressions of it I gained from MasterChef and other cooking shows (which must be true, right?). It seems that working as a chef is less about achieving your food dreams and more about yelling, stress, pressure, long hours, tight deadlines, weekend work, exacting standards and vocally dissatisfied consumers.

And because I don’t want to deal with all of that, I’ve chosen to be a journalist instead.

Oh wait…

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