No Love Lost

NYRA talks to prominent labor journalist Sarah Jaffe about changing our views about work.

Illustration by PROPS SUPPLY

Labor journalist Sarah Jaffe has been writing about work for well over a decade. In her latest book, Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone (Hurst, 2021), she asserts that the idea of working out of love for one’s profession is dissolving. Even workers in creative fields, who might love their craft, still need the paycheck. In this interview with NYRA, Jaffe talks about what the labor-of-love myth is, how it applies to architects, and how it might finally disappear and make way for a different way of thinking about work.

NYRA: What led you to think about the topic of love and labor in the context of your book, Work Won’t Love You Back? How does gender play into that formulation?

Sarah Jaffe: It’s safe to say that the book comes from my thirteen years of work as a labor journalist. During that time, I was in the working world as a woman myself, working first in the service industry and then as a journalist. It’s impossible not to notice the way gender affects how you’re treated. Indeed, so many people in the labor …

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