A deeply-reported examination of why “doing what you love” is
a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work in which we
cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives.
You’re told that
if you “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Whether it’s working for “exposure” and “experience,” or
enduring poor treatment in the name of “being part of the family,”
all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of
being able to do what we love.
In Work Won’t
Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor,
inequality, and social movements, examines this “labor of love”
myth — the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore
should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives
and experiences of workers in various industries — from the unpaid
intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even
the professional athlete — Jaffe reveals how all of us have been
tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work.
As Jaffe argues,
understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work
less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those
binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy,
pleasure, and satisfaction.