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.
Sarah Jaffe is the author of Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone, which Jane McAlevey called “a multiplex in still life; a stunning critique of capitalism, a collective conversation on the meaning of life and work, and a definite contribution to the we-won’t-settle-for-less demands of the future society everyone deserves,”and of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, both from Bold Type Books.
She is a Type Media Center reporting fellow and an independent journalist covering thepoliticsofpower, from the workplace to the streets. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, the Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as a columnist at The Progressive and New Labor Forum.
Sarah was formerly a staff writer at In These Times and the labor editor at AlterNet. She was a contributing editor on The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America, from AlterNet books, as well as a contributor to the anthologies At the Tea Party and Tales of Two Cities, both from OR Books, and Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America, from Picador. She was also the web director at GRITtv with Laura Flanders.
She was one of the first reporters to cover Occupy and the Fight for $15, has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss topics ranging from electoral politics to Superstorm Sandy, from punk rock to public-sector unions.
She has a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia and a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola University New Orleans. Sarah was born and raised in Massachusetts and has also lived in South Carolina, Louisiana, Colorado, New York and Pennsylvania.