It’s okay to look for the fun in the work. If your work is something that you’re passionate about, then you’ll go the extra mile and do a great job. But work is not synonymous with fun for a reason. We don’t get paid to have fun. We do get paid for work. We get paid because work (unlike fun) is not something we would do for free. Your reward for work is the money, not the fun you may or may not get out of it. So if you’re not having fun at work, that’s not necessarily a sign of career failure. Work shouldn’t be fun.
In fact, people put too much pressure on themselves to find that perfect job if they expect to both have fun and get paid. There is nothing wrong with working for pay and then using that money to pay for fun. You want to make sure, however, that you are then having fun outside of work. If you are working long hours on the promise that you’ll have fun eventually, that may not be a good deal. But if you are satisfied with your work schedule and still have time for other pursuits, then that is perfectly fine. You shouldn’t feel obliged to find more fun in your work when you are getting your needs met elsewhere.
Separating work from fun may be beneficial in pursuing interests which typically do not pay well financially. If you like to write, you can work as a journalist often times at low pay. Or you can work a higher paying job and write freelance. If you write whether by hobby or trade, you are a writer. If the type of writing you want to do is not something where jobs are generally available (e.g., poetry) then the money job/ fun on the side option may be the only one that fulfills both your fun and your living needs. Furthermore, if the money job frees you from day-to-day worries about paying the bills, getting medical coverage, etc, then it may make you a better writer than if you toughed it out at a “fun” job.
We can all aspire to the equilibrium where our fun produces enough income to become our work. But the goal of work isn’t to replace fun. Work shouldn’t be fun. That’s why it’s work. Your task is to find the right balance.