Friday, August 20, 2010

Work and Passion

Conventional wisdom is that you should find a job that matches your passion. I think this is backwards. ~ Seth Godin

Seth Godin, a (in my opinion) marketing genius, suggests that it’s easier to bring passion to your work than it is to find work that matches your passion. Recently, I’ve realized that if you ask me what I’m truly passionate about, I have a hard time articulating it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m passionate about so many things that it’s hard for me to narrow it down to one true, can’t live without passion. For example, if you want to get me talking non-stop, you could ask me about any of the following things: my husband, my dogs, my family, writing, horror fiction, human rights, marketing… the list goes on.

What makes jobs easier for me is that I’m also passionate about working. I like contributing to a team. I like bringing home a paycheck. I like having somewhere that I’m needed every day. But, most importantly, I like to know that what I’m doing is making a difference somewhere for someone.

Luckily for me, at work, I’ve been put in charge of customer testimonials. This gives me the opportunity to really bring one of my passions (making a difference) to work every day. Talking to happy customers constantly reinforces the work I’m doing. I talk to customers who say their life is greatly improved by our services, and I go home feeling wonderful. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a customer who isn’t as happy as they could be for various reasons that have nothing to do with any of my work. When that happens, I take it very hard.

What I’ve realized is no matter whether your work is your passion or you bring your passion to work, mixing work and passion has the potential to be hurtful. But, everything worth having comes with risk so I’d rather hear a hundred happy customers’ stories and a few unhappy customers’ complaints than work without passion.

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