Does your passion match your job?
I love Seth Godin’s blog and was inspired enough by this post to read his latest book, Linchpin. The message of the book is that we all should strive to do emotional labor and create art in our line of work. This is how one becomes indispensable, how one becomes a linchpin.
The book itself was a good read, though it seemed repetitive at times. Seth made his main point early on and spent a lot of time going over the same ideas. This is excusable. His ideas were worth repeating.
There is a lot of good nuggets in this book, but one that jumped out at me was this one on passion, a topic that pops up every now and then in the personal finance community.
Does your job match your passion? Or does your passion match your job? Conventional wisdom is that you should find a job that matches your passion. I think this is backwards. […] Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.
Originally, I advocate that loving your job is not nearly as important as loving your life. I still think that is true, and I also think it is hard to love your life if you are in a job you hate. Hating your job is not an option, but loving it isn’t a requirement either. At least that is true for me.
However, as I’ve gotten more and more invested in my career I’ve realized that when you start emotionally investing yourself in your job, your job can become a passion. It is amazing how exciting and rewarding that can be, and how independent it is from what your job actually is. The technical content of my new job is interesting, but relatively small compared to the content in my old job. However, my ability to make an impact and to really make a difference feels so much larger in my new job. I’m happiest when I’m making a difference (and being recognized for that), and I think my job is happiest when I’m striving to make a difference.
My career goal is to be a linchpin. I know that isn’t very specific, but it is all I have at this point. Now I just need to put on my brave face and start throwing myself into all the stuff that I have no idea how to do yet!
So what do you think? Do you think you can create passion for most any job by investing yourself emotionally? Or do you have to work in a job that aligns with your innate passions? Or don’t you really want to do either? I think this is a really personal choice and there is no single right answer.