There’s More To Your Career Than Passion

by Rich DeMatteo on March 18, 2010 · 63 comments

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I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Crush It!, and I loved it.  I loved every ounce of that book, and I’m on board with Gary’s cry out to “cash in on your passion”.  But after having that word, passion, jack hammered into my brain, my eyes and ears became much more sensitive to the word, and it began popping up EVERYWHERE.

If you’re a career or job search blogger and you don’t talk about passion, then consider yourself the minority.  You can find a post, or two here on COTJ discussing the topic, where I clearly state I’m a fan.  So please, don’t lecture me on the importance of passion.  I’m on board, but I do have some beef.

Experience > Passion

Candidates cannot rely solely on passion to get a job.  In the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager, experience, and how well a candidate can communicate their experience will always rank damn near the top of the list when it comes to hiring.

When a company advertises a position that requires  5 years of experience, a candidate expressing their passion with zero years of related experience won’t get the job.  This is obvious, but needs to be said.

Experience is critical.  Especially in corporate life.

Corporate Passion

I’ve been bothered lately by how many people talk smack on the 9-5, and hate on the corporate life.  It’s easy to get brainwashed out there with so many bloggers telling you to move away from that lifestyle.  The truth of the matter is that I know many happy people who have climbed the corporate ladder, have passion in their corporate career, and are successful in life outside  their jobs.

If you try out corporate life and find out the 9-5 isn’t for you, then move away from it.  Don’t let bloggers tell you who you are, or what to do.

Side Projects & Start-ups

No passion in your 9-5?  Look to start-ups and side projects to carry out your passion.  Too tired to work more after work?  Join a softball or bowling team.

Whatever you gain enjoyment from is what you should be doing in life.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not NEED to be absolutely crazy about your job.  It’s important to at least enjoy it a little, like the people, and make the cash required to support your chosen lifestyle, but passion in your career is not a requirement to be a happy human.

Last Remarks

To be clear again, I’m not anti-passion.  I’m a huge proponent of passion and its importance for careers/jobs and life in general.  I’m an HR guy, and employee engagement (always a hot HR topic) certainly increases when workers are passionate about their job.  I have a passion for Corn On The Job, good food, working out, hockey, coaching hockey, talking to friends, and meeting new friends.

I also have a passion for starting conversations:

What is your opinion on passion as it relates to careers?  Is your passion something completely unrelated to work?

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