Monday, September 7, 2009

You’re supposed to find your passion, you’re supposed have a passion for your work.

How many really do?

If you didn’t go to college, your first job was probably whatever you could get. That job led to other jobs that turned into a career. Mostly life handed you lemons, you made lemonade and your career progressed by Hobson’s choice.

If you went to college, you took what you thought you liked – at 17! As you studied you may have changed direction but you graduated at 21 or 22 and then began to find many new and surprising directions that you never new about, much less considered when you picked your major.

Now, in the middle of a recession with jobs hard to find, you are being told that you must find a job that fits your passion. You’ve been too busy making whatever your Hobson’s choice got you into work to find out what you love. That also means a career change in a job climate were employers are not looking for crossover skills, they are looking for a “perfect match”.

You will find that most of the people claiming that you should find work you are passionate about are in social professions – psychologists or psychiatrists – or sales. You will never hear an engineer, a chemist or truck driver tell you to follow your passion. You rarely see “must have a passion for driving a fork lift or accounting” in a job description. The only jobs I remember seeing talk about passion is sales. All the push for job passion is driven by our workplace change from maker to designers and sellers.

I am writing this on a Mac book and in the process of making this laptop computer someone sat at a workbench checking resisters. Measuring the resistance value of some percentage of the incoming parts to make sure that they are correct. How passionate would you be about measuring the resistance of these small parts?

You might get a lot of satisfaction from doing your job well and knowing that you are part of making a great laptop for some unknown guy to write on.

But, passion? Not so much.

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