Do You Really Want to “Do What You Love”?


Superficially, [“do what you love”] is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum? Who is not?

For Jacobin, Miya Tokomitsu takes a second look at the popular exhortation to find a job you love so much that it doesn’t feel like a job.

She decides it’s less a positive mantra than a way to squeeze underpaid or unpaid labor from people across the job spectrums, from unpaid interns and adjunct professors to cleaners and care workers.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →