While there is likely never a lull in the number of people looking for a job, I imagine that number is slightly above average at the midpoint of the year. Of course, this is when thousands are graduating from college and entering the uncertain world of job searching.
Finding the “perfect” job is not an easy task. When you ask for advice on finding that elusive occupation, everyone has their own advice.
“Do something you love.”
“Get paid what you are worth.”
“Make sure there are good benefits.”
Sometimes we have our own criteria, such as a certain industry or that the office has an on-site gym. And there is one element that people not only advise, but many seek … a fun place to work.
I’m here to say, stop looking for a fun place to work. Work is work, and if you’re having too much fun, you’re not working.
Stop Looking for a Fun Place to Work
Having fun is what we do after work at happy hour, or when we go on vacation. I don’t mean to say you cannot have any fun at work, but the idea that you should be having fun all day, to me, does not fit in with the idea of working hard.
Because of the type of work I do now (I’m a DJ) and what I have done throughout my career (public relations, marketing, special events), it’s regularly mentioned to me that “you have such a fun job!”
And on the surface, yes, it all seems fun. I’ve worked on video and photo shoots, ad campaigns, product launches and trade shows. I’ve traveled all over, attended high profile sports events and DJ’d a host of private events … all of this “for work.”
At the end of my events people will ask “did you have fun,” and I’ve always replied in the affirmative, “yeah, it was great!”
Compared to a strenuous job like a roofing contractor, coal miner or factory worker, what I do is arguably more fun.
Even “Fun” Work is Still Work
But I’m feeling like my reply has been a little fib, because I’m not having as much fun as people think I am. When I want to have fun, I hang out with my friends. I go paddleboarding. I make reservations at an acclaimed restaurant and enjoy an amazing meal.
When I’m at work I am, after all, working. My job is to create a fun environment for the people that come into my workplace. To create that environment likely means I’m doing things that are not so fun.
Arriving three hours before the event starts. Carrying in heavy gear at a loading dock where the stinky garbage dumps are. Setting up equipment outdoors in the hot summer sun. Working the actual event while everyone else is having fun. And often being one of the last people to leave the venue, hours after the event has concluded.
Finding Something More Important Than Fun
Before this goes too far and I start to sound like I’m overly whining (it might be too late for that), I fully acknowledge there are other work environments that subject people to way harsher conditions that I will ever endure and also have zero elements of fun.
I enjoy what I do. I love playing music at parties, and there are several other adjectives I can use about how I feel about my job.
And these are the adjectives I want to convey to anyone seeking the right career. Find a path that guides you to a career that is rewarding, challenging, fulfilling and satisfying.
Earlier I mentioned that often dished out piece of advice, “find something you love.” It’s often followed up with the statement that by doing so, “you’ll never work a day in your life.” I used to give this statement a very surface level interpretation. If you love what you are doing, it will be fun, and it won’t feel like work.
But it’s taken on a new meaning to me, and maybe it will for you or anyone else that is on that quest to find the perfect job.
While my work days and nights are not always filled with fun, they are filled with a love I have for working hard, hustling and making others happy. When all of that is happening, I know I am in the right place doing the right thing.
And there is not any amount of fun I could be having that could ever replace that feeling.
Photo by Tanner Boriack on Unsplash