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would a dream job make you a workaholic?

Here's a philosophical question for you all.

Think of your absolute dream job. Petting puppies, testing games, drinking wine, some combination of these, whatever.

You're going to get this job, and be salaried.

How many hours a week would you spend doing it? Would you work late?

Does your dream job include the requirement that it be limited to 20-40 hours a week with no pressure to work any more? What would you spend your extra time doing? What if you could get paid for that?

In other words, would you like a life in which all your creative energy was channeled into a Benefit For Someone Else... be it the company, your customers, some deserving cause? Is that healthy, to pour yourself into something so much? Do you want to love your job? Is loving a job about the task, or the conditions, or the people?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2017 04:28 pm (UTC)

I am all about balance. I did not like being a SAHM. I did not like working full time. It was too much of one thing.

When explaining this to a friend, who doesn't have children, I used the Netflix analogy for why I did not enjoy being a SAHM. Imagine you had to watch Netflix from 7am to 10pm every day. The first few hours would be enjoyable. Then you start to get really, really sick of it and then you just cannot wait until it's time for the kids... I mean the Netflix... to go to bed.

I have had a job petting puppies and honestly it did get old after a while (it was a volunteer position, obviously.)

But I guess I kind of already have my dream job. It's a 0-20 hour contract so I can work as little as I want or as much as 20 hours. It's pretty perfect :). My main issue now is I am finding working from home a little hard; I need to start working in coffee shops again which worked really well, but when I switched up childcare providers the nearest ones are out of my way... meh.
May. 9th, 2017 04:43 pm (UTC)
^Same. I've never wanted one single "real job"; it feels very confining. I like to have several things going on rather than a seemingly endless ("here's what you're going to do all day, every day, for the indefinite future") routine. That said, my dream job is ending the (imperialist white supremacist) capitalist patriarchy, and I currently do it on a volunteer basis.
May. 9th, 2017 05:39 pm (UTC)
I completely get the "too much of one thing" problem. I would probably thrive best doing two or three different jobs, 10-20 hours a week each.

With that kind of arrangement, I can easily imagine working more than 40 hours a week.

I want my job to involve doing something beneficial for more than just the company, intellectually challenging, and with motivated and capable people.
May. 9th, 2017 04:46 pm (UTC)
I have my dream CAREER, but not (at the moment) my dream job... and I work my 40 hours, put in extra time when it's required of me, and call it good. One of the reasons this is my dream career is the lifestyle that it lets me have and I'd be a fool to miss out on that. So I work my hours, take all my vacation, and enjoy it to it's fullest.
May. 9th, 2017 05:08 pm (UTC)
My dream job needs to allow enough time for me to enjoy other activities. 40 hours a week is plenty for me, and then I'd like to do something else. If I could get paid for some of my leisure activities (as indeed I have been, from time to time, paid to sing as a guest in various choirs) I would like that, but I don't want to do the SAME thing for more than 50 hours in any given week. As it is now, I manage to fill up my entire life with reasonably enjoyable activities while I'm not working.

I have not completely loved a job since I was in my 20s. It seems to me that all jobs come with sucky parts, and a lot of the sucky parts are either scut work or people I would prefer not to have to deal with. I usually enjoy the part of my job where I actually get to sit by myself and crank out product (words in my case).
May. 9th, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
Part of it being a dream job would mean I would want it to be 20-30 hours, because no matter how awesome it was, I would want a more balanced, varied life. I also don't think it is possible to always love any job-- everything gets sometimes tedious or isn't what we feel like doing at that particular moment.
May. 9th, 2017 05:16 pm (UTC)
I was very lucky to have had some ideal (for me) jobs. I happily, enthusiastically worked 80 hours a week easily at them and, when it came available, checking email and texts from work constantly. And I loved it. Part of what made the job ideal was feeling critical, needed, wanted, respected and I put my energy into maintaining and promoting those feelings. I'm finally (after almost 4 years) learning to enjoy retirement but I will never not miss those jobs and what they gave me.
May. 9th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
I would like to answer "no of course not, work life balance is important" but the data show that's pretty much a lie.

But I would fly a lot more if I had the $$ to do so!

To be a dream job it would have to have people that didn't suck, and doing something cool and enough $$ to justify it being more work than normal.
May. 9th, 2017 09:33 pm (UTC)
I kind of do have my dream job -- except for the part about not having time to do enough of it so that I can make money. I write books. But I'm also a mom, and that's taking up so much more time than writing! I used to have several books out each year, back in my pre-parenthood days. Now it's years since I've had a book published. When my son goes to college, I plan to immerse myself in writing, and at this point, I think I'll be happy to do it more than 40 hours a week, if that includes the time I'd like to spend researching fabulous places to set my novels in.
May. 10th, 2017 09:34 am (UTC)
Being a librarian was my dream job, and I enjoy it when I feel well and not overworked. I went down to 80% recently, for the summer due to my health. I think I would be happiest if I had even more time to myself, I work more effectively with shorter days. When I first got the job I worked from home more often. I still read and prepare presentations on my free time, but not like before. I am working at finding a balance. I love helping people, and it can be a very rewarding job. I also think it's nice to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. Now, if I could actually use my time to only read what I am personally interested in reading, then yeah, I would work late. Even fun things can become a chore, though.
May. 10th, 2017 02:36 pm (UTC)
I don't often read everyone else's comments before posting my own, but I'm glad I did. For me, loving the job is about the task, the conditions, and the people. I can still like the job a lot if I have only two out of three, but then I definitely need my own time to do other things,.

I don't think I have a dream job. I love working in international development where the task and the people are great, and sometimes the conditions. Doing the parts I love most don't pay well, though, and that's a consideration as I put a kid through university.

I would love to work on historical crafts all the time and get paid for it. Again, paying gigs are few and far between, especially when you are passionate about early medieval European history and live in Canada. Also, there's that whole having to talk to people every day part. Fine with other researchers, but chatting to the tourists as a historical interpreter is exhausting.

I'm looking forward to retirement as my dream job. I'll have no mortgage, my kids will be mostly launched, I'll have a good pension, and all the time I need to indulge my hobbies.
May. 11th, 2017 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm fortunate in having had quite a few very good jobs - ones with such good folk in the team, and a positive atmosphere, that I've been happy to work well beyond normal hours at times, as it's simply been fun; who could decline such a delightful challenge?

That said, I've also usually maintained a balance between what I'm being paid to do, and everything else in my life - as enjoyable as many of these projects have been, I've also hugely enjoyed going out to visit friends, enjoying a good evening of food and drink, or going out for some wildlife photography.

Ideally, a paid position is about all those factors: the task ought to be inspiring, although I've sometimes been happy to accept that on a more intellectually satisfying level; I've sometimes had the freedom to work from home/remotely; and I've certainly come to know some wonderful people along the way, some of whom I remain in contact with, long after those engagements and companies came to an end.
May. 11th, 2017 04:08 pm (UTC)
I think loving a job requires all three to some extent: an enjoyable task, good people, and a decent work environment.

I already have something like a dream job. The only things that would make it better would be consistent pay and health benefits!

I teach (horse) riding and driving lessons as well as do some training and I find a lot of satisfaction in helping people learn to help themselves and problem solving (horse training is ALL about problem solving!). The combination of horses and people create an infinite variety so it never really get dull. Frustrating at times, but never dull.

If I could earn even $30k a year after expenses (mostly spent on feed, vet, and farrier bills) I'd be doing awesome.

With three boys five and under and my husband I'd feel like I'd be missing out too much if I were working 40 plus hours. If I could work with my husband that'd make more working hours more attractive. Of course getting paid to ride, drive, and otherwise work my own horses would be nice too! I think it's much easier to be a workaholic when you're single and/or childless because one would like to assume you want to spend time with your spouse and kids rather than being married to a job 24/7.
May. 12th, 2017 09:44 am (UTC)
I love aspects of my career as an academic/ department head and am more than happy to work long hours on it. Like a weekend writing, or reading someone's writing? No worries. But reading emails or doing workload documents, I'd rather not do that on my weekends, thank you!

Ugh, emails. I hate them.
May. 13th, 2017 07:26 am (UTC)
It was my goal to find a job (and actually the main reason I left the last one), where I want to put myself into it. This means working a lot. This means taking on tasks which go above the 8 to 5 daily schedule.
And I love what it gives me. I don't enjoy everything about it, but all in all I have fun in what I am doing and I see that my effort makes a difference.

I try to keep my balance by ensuring that I take the time for other things which are important to me.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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