Book review: do what you love and other lies about success – Miya Tokumitsu

When you work in the not for profit area expectations on your work can be exceptionally high. You are lucky to be working in an industry where you are doing something you love.

Thus expectations can be high.

This does not just apply to not for profit arena FYI – I know teachers that don’t call in sick because they know their students won’t learn as much with fill in teachers… what a level of personal pressure!

When you do a job you love you’re supposed to just do it – not for anything crass like money! Teachers, nurses, child care workers, not for profits… we undersell what we’re worth in these industries.

Talking about money is gross, but you need to know your worth. But here’s the thing… Talking about money shouldn’t be gross. Some things you volunteer at because you enjoy them, but you don’t volunteer at work. You do a job and are compensated with money. People that work in these caring industries are often taken advantage of because of these perceptions.

This Book had many wonderful quotes, but I’ll share this with you:

The paradox of do what you love is that, while exhorting people to perform work that they love, it denies that this work is work at all. Persuading professional workers not to think of themselves as workers is one of the profoundest achievements of established class rhetoric. When people speak of the working class as a constituency to which they do not belong, embedded in their speech is a disavowal of their own status as workers, specifically as workers toiling for an employer or entity other than themselves. The social desire not to fall into this class is so powerful that, as we’ve seen, people will assume massive amounts of debt, submit to intrusive surveillance and managerial control and work for hope instead of wages. This, too, is a disavowal of their own work. 

Hope remains a major force keeping the swelling reserve of credentialed, would-be professionals toiling for paltry wages (or no wages at all). While scores of college grads working in unpaid internships could be doing paid apprenticeships that impart tangible skills, they opt for the uncompensated purgatory of coffee fetching and photocopying in the hope that such service will lead to a lucrative, lovable job. Is it worth it?

To me? Yes. One of my goals is to apply for and receive an internship at the UN.

I spent 6 years in my 20’s working in risk and insurance and hating every minute of it. I would often come home from work and cry, not sure how I would face going back into the office the next day. Now if I cry from stress, it’s because I care so much I want to do so well that I stress myself out. But that doesn’t mean the job isn’t good, just that I need to work on coping in a way that reflects how I care about my work.

I am the person discussed above. I have worked in many different industries, but without community I am nothing. Community radio in particular is a home to me. I do love my job, but reading this book has helped me reflect on and reset my boundaries. I give a lot and I work hard, but I no longer check emails when I’m at home or on the weekend.

And when I leave work, I work hard to leave it at work. I’m not perfect, but this book clarified to me the importance of personal and professional boundaries. Highly recommend tracking it down – it has a lot of reread potential as well, so worth considering in investing in a purchase of it.






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