I think society has sucked us in with this myth…
WANTED: Zookeeper. Must be passionate about animals.
You’ve all seen a job-ad like this right?
I’m sure if you crunched the data on the key-words used in job ads, “passionate” would have to come out as number one.
And it’s a total con.
In fact, it’s such a pervasive con that even the people perpetrating it have no idea what they’re doing.
Let alone the poor bums who buy into it.
Think about it. Why would the zoo want a “passionate” zookeeper. Or why would an accounting firm want a passionate accountant?
The answer is fairly obvious. A passionate zookeeper is a zookeeper who is going to pour themselves into the job. They are deeply and personally motivated to do an excellent job entertaining the animals (or whatever it is that zookeepers do).
That is, the zoo is saying they want someone who is motivated above and beyond the motivation that the pay scale can provide.
They want your personal motivation to pick up the slack – to do some of the heavy lifting that the salary alone can not.
In fact, the more passionate and motivated you already are, the less they have to pay you.
And this is the heart of it. It’s why every employer wants a ‘passionate’ employee. The more passionate they are, the less they have to be paid to do the work.
It’s a con.
What’s worse, we buy into it.
If we’re unhappy in our jobs, we think we need to find a career that we are more “passionate” about.
But what that’s really saying is, “I’d be happy with this un-motivating pay-rate if I was at least in a job that excited me a little.”
“This sh!t-sandwhich would taste better with a little passion-sauce on top of it.”
This is not the way to create a better life for yourself. We have been told that it is (probably because it serves the interests of the people who want to keep us in our day-jobs), but it’s not. It’s a con.
Don’t buy into it.
Now this might sound little funny coming from me. You might have seen that I was hiring again at the start of the year. Knowledge Source, I’m proud and grateful to say, just goes from strength to strength.
It’s an honour to serve at the helm.
And I don’t remember how we drafted up the job ads, but there’s a good chance “passionate” was in there somewhere.
But I mean something quite specific by that. If I say I want a “passionate accountant”, I’m not looking for someone who is passionate about numbers and accounting systems per sè.
(That actually be kinda weird.)
What I’m looking for is someone who is excited about the opportunities that working with us will give them. I’m looking for someone who is excited about working with a growth organisation like Knowledge Source, because they are excited and committed to their own growth, and they have their own vision about where they want to be in 5 or 10 years.
This is the kind of passion that I’m looking for.
And it’s the kind of passion that you should be cultivating too.
If you feel like your work-life lacks passion, don’t look for a new job that you feel passionate about. Look for a vision of your life as a whole that you can get passionate about, and then find a job that fits within that vision.
This is how we should be talking about passion.
But until we do, we are slaves to other people’s dreams.