Do what you like or like what you do?

A few days ago, when i was reading a book and came across a sentence that impressed me a lot. The sentence goes: “it’s no use doing what do you like, you got to have to like what you do”. This sentence sort of solved my confusion about the work i do and what attitude i should hold for it. Does this sentence make sense to you ? Any inspiration ?

I’d say that in a perfect world “you do what you like”, but for many the world ain’t perfect, so in that case you’d better “like what you do”.
If you don’t like what you do, and you have the possibility to change, then go for it.

It seems slightly odd when you first see it, but I think it makes good sense.

Firstly, it’s about attitude – it’s important to enjoy your work, and you need to try to find a way to enjoy your work even if you didn’t think you would. Sometimes that just isn’t possible, but if you can find a way to turn any job into something you enjoy, you’ll be onto a winner. If you set out to just do the kind of job that you think you’ll like, you’re more likely to be disappointed when you can’t get it, or when you do get it and it turns out not to be what you expected.

Secondly, it’s about your own motivation – there was a good article on Sitepoint recently about why turning a hobby into your main job is a bad idea, because you are likely to under-sell yourself and do work for too little payment, and you’re also likely to stop enjoying it as much when it becomes a full-time job, and so you’ve then lost yourself a hobby as well.

I really enjoy web design, and I maintain several sites free for non-profit organisations or in another case for a small amount of advertising revenue. I’ve deliberately steered clear of jobs where web design plays anything more than a passing role because I know that if it became a full-time job, I would lose some of that interest and enjoyment, and probably would give up on the hobby sites as a result.

For me, I want to do what I really like. By doing it, I will be more productive.

The grammar is pretty poor in that sentence. Maybe we are over analyzing what a hillbilly wrote.

Maybe the sentence has been quoted poorly. Maybe you are right. Who knows.

What article was that? Do you have a link?

I just browsed the last 10 pages of SitePoint but couldn’t find it.

Maybe it’s just me that I’ve been reading too much of his articles, but it sounds like a John Tabita article if ever.


Bingo! OK, so April last year may be stretching the definition of “recently”, but it was recent in my mind!

For the majority we can’t do what we like. I recently met somebody who’s dream was to paint, another person I met wanted to become a football player. When you can’t pay the bills you just have to do what you do and LIKE it. I think that what it’s all about, convincing yourself that you’re happy doing what you do. The funny thing is when people do what they LOVE they fall into unhappiness for many years as other don’t appreciate what they do.

I could not find an article either, in either case I think we can all relate to what is meant in the sentence.

It makes no sense to me. It’s self-contradicting. How is it no use in doing what you like yet it is in liking what you do? I would think that you do what you like exactly because you like doing it. Is that really an accurate quote?

Most of time we can’t do what we like ,such as job.We can’t do the job that we like and can’t find a good company to work for .After we find a job and work for a company ,we have to like it and try to do it well.That’s realistic.

Last weekends, i visited the Humble Administor’s Garden, which is the largest privated garden in china and rated as AAAAA scenic spot and also evaluated by the UN as the World Cultural Heritage. I met a very humorous tour guide. The trip was very worthy, I learned a lot about Chinese ancient culture.
When i said goodbye to the guide, i suddenly felt sorry for him. Once tourist guide was his dream and interest, but now, he had to explain different people about the same content again and again, and he made little money out of it. Just as we always said don’t make your favourite song your alarm clock ring, you gonna ruin it. It is not really very wise to make your interest your job,thus it is no use doing what you like. Most people complained that their jobs are not matching with their majors. Take me for example, i work with IT, not my major, English.
But it is good to learn something new, thus you have to like what you do. For one, you live on it, for another, you still can keep your interest and develop something new.

Many good points of view here that none are absolutely right or wrong.

I know people that don’t do jobs they love, but the have great interests and balance in their lives outside of work, so they can rationalize that work does not matter and it is nothing more than making money to fuel the part of life they love.

I know other people that "live their work’ and are passionately intertwined with it; the joys, challenges, sorrows, euphoria, threats etc… They often say “I would not change it for anything” and they love their work.

I meet on rare occasion people that have a truly perfect job for them like the perfect life of love with a partner that we rarely see.

Generally I try to find the good in what I am doing - not always possible but it is most of the time.


when i see your title i have much feelings.i memory my first job which i do not like it,but i need to do it well because of a little food.i know i am not happy at that time.later,i must to consider that “like what you do” works. now i am doing the job the same to the first job of my career and i like it very much. i also think i will do it much better and i will earn much more money from it not only a little food! Just Cheers!

It’s so inspirationally! I like to read some kind of philosophical books. They push us forward in realizing our dreams or desired. So, we need to be happy when we do what we want how it looks in the end.

I say ‘do what you like’ but it doesn’t always work that way. Though it’s pretty difficult to ‘like what you do’ but living in this world it’s quite a common case so for me, if things aren’t making me happy anymore, time to leave.

I guess it depends on the situation. There are times that we don’t have any choice at all that we have to do what we don’t like. We just have to accept it and try loving it. There are also instances that we still have a choice so we’ve got to escape and do what we like

This truly reflects the job i have now to the job i had then. i am very skilled in computers both in hardware and software and when my cousin told me there was a job opening at the new mall and they are hiring both it and hardware experts i immediately applied. yet to my disappointment i was never assigned to any computer let alone an it or maintenance department. i was hired as a sales clerk which was very demeaning for me but still i wen on just to know how it feels like to work as a sales clerk. and man it is not easy. and in my 1 and a half month work i never used a computer so i resigned. just goes to show you need to love what you are doing in order to be good at what you do.

Do that what you want to do and love what you are doing.