They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m not really sure who “they” are; Google says it’s either Confucius or Mark Twain. But “they” also say you should never make your passion your profession. Doing so could make something you love ultimately turn into a chore or burden. So, which saying leans more toward the perfect job? I think they’re both partly true. However, I honestly think there’s a middle ground between them both that can lead you to the best career for you. At least, it did for me.
What The Perfect Job Is NOT
The first thing anyone searching for that utopian career or professional position needs to realize is this: no job is without its flaws. Even if the most amazing career opportunity paying an obnoxious amount of money fell into your lap, there would undoubtedly be challenges that come with it. I would be willing to bet that is the case in any industry, no matter where you work or what you do.
I make those statements from experience. But let me be clear: I absolutely LOVE what I do. Being an interior designer encompasses so many things I’m passionate about. Nevertheless, that passion can definitely feel like “work”, and also come with some headaches. For example, in the past several years I, like many other interior and home design professionals have dealt with significant supply chain issues that were completely out of my control. And, because home design is such a collaborative field, I tend to frequently deal with communication issues regarding vendor expectations and contracts. Even clients can be challenging in a not-so-positive way. I’ve had some who didn’t trust the creative process and became verbally abrasive. Other clients similarly wanted instant gratification when it came to the work being done in their homes. Those were difficult times for me.
I’ve even been my own worst challenge at times while doing what I love. Home design sometimes requires late nights and early mornings. During those times I often deal with mom guilt because my job doesn’t utilize traditional working hours that work best for my family. Over time, I realized I could be a great mom and responsible professional at the same time. And, I could love my job even with all of its random complications. These realizations keep me humble as I navigate personal desires and professional ambitions.
With all the aforementioned things that can make interior design burdensome, why do I still consider it the perfect job? Well, even with all its challenges, it has been and continues to be extremely rewarding for me. Being a designer has empowered me in so many ways, and it has positively impacted how I see myself as a professional. I say that because I was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child. For the longest time, traditional learning styles didn’t offer me the best opportunities to express myself authentically. And quite honestly, I struggled. What I knew, though, is that my mind could envision things, and I could problem-solve in ways many of my peers struggled to do. Being in the creative sector has allowed me to thrive and not feel ostracized because I learn and work differently. Interior design is the perfect job for me because it allows me to use my natural gifts and entrepreneurial skills to positively impact other’s lives.
Also, remember the mom guilt I mentioned? There’s another side to that “unconventional hours” coin. I found that not having a traditional work schedule affords me the opportunity to give my sons the life I’ve always dreamed of. I get to spend time with them and give them experiences that wouldn’t necessarily be available with other careers. How, you might ask? I utilize homeschool hybrid learning modules with them that allow my family to be one that travels the world. We’ve been to Spain, France, Italy, and many of the continental United States, and they’ve had some of the richest life and learning experiences. Those moments are priceless, and I have my career to thank primarily for them.
Balance and Boundaries
Here’s the reality about careers: there will always be pros and cons that come with every job. You and you alone must make peace with what speaks to your heart professionally. My advice is to lean into what sets your heart on fire. Accept the fact that any and all work opportunities can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. And really, that’s what makes the best opportunity. The perfect job is never so easy that you coast by with no motivation to be excellent or better. At the same time, it’s never so difficult that you dread going to the office every day. That’s the balance we should all strive to create.
I never take for granted how lucky I am to be an interior designer and to love every single minute of what I do as a homemaker. I count it such a privilege to have a job where my primary role is making clients’ personal spaces beautiful. More than that, when I think about how I enhance people’s lives by making their homes more functional, I can only smile and be grateful. And to think, even when my “job” is done, the resulting work is lived in, enjoyed and appreciated by so many for years to come. Honestly, there’s nothing more perfect than that.