Erin Cech explains her research on the "passion principle," and how America's obsession with pursuing and pushing towards a "#dreamjob" is flawed
"The Dream Job Is Dead. Long Live The Good Enough Job." - MSN. 11/16/2020.
Erin Cech, PSC Faculty Associate and assistant profesor of sociology, explains her research on the "passion principle," and how America's obsession with pursuing and pushing towards a "#dreamjob" is flawed. "There's a moralization of that idea that the best way to be a person in the labor market, especially if you have a degree, is to find work that you love and deal with the kind of sacrifices that that entails," says Cech, author of The Passion Principle: How the Search for Self-Expressive & Fulfilling Careers Reproduces Inequality. She explains that there's this sense that if you're not doing work you find fulfilling, you're somehow selling yourself short. "It's such a narrow way to think about making meaning in our lives," Cech adds. "Why is work the place that we're supposed to find meaning?" Cech's work focuses on something called the "passion principle," which is the idea that the best way for people to make career decisions is to center self-expression and fulfillment. Cech's research points out that while adherents to the passion principle recognize that all jobs contain tedious tasks, they also believe that, if work aligns with their passion, their working hours will still "fulfill" them, and so all of the negative aspects of their jobs - from being overworked to being underpaid - are somehow worth it. In this way, the passion principle potentially prevents valid criticism of precarious employment situations.