Passion is not just vital in personal relationships. It’s vital in one’s work too. According to a recent ABC News/Wall Street Journal survey, about 50 percent of today’s workforce would pursue a different line of work, given the opportunity. This is a clear indication that a lot of people do not feel passion in their jobs.
An absence of passion at work is a danger signal. This may mean that you are either bogged down with the monotony of work, are bored, or feel like you’re doing thankless or spiritless tasks. Such an attitude may lead people to feel anxious, depressed or stressed – leading to burn out. Work demands so many hours of our lives that it’s frustrating to be trapped in jobs that are devoid of any kind of passion.
According to Cliff Reinert, Senior Partner of the Resource Dynamics Group, part of the problem may be that we have a rigid notion of what kind of jobs we can be passionate about. Some people think that some types of work that are glamorous, like in the entertainment industry, or those that pay a lot of money make up a career filled with passion, while common kinds of work are just a means to pay the bills.
On the other hand, some people may find themselves trapped in a kind of work that does not make use of their natural-born talents and abilities. Meanwhile, others, who are doing the kind of work that they like, feel dissatisfied with the kind of pay they are getting or are unhappy with the company culture that they find themselves in.
Jenny, a professional disk jockey works nights in the country’s top broadcasting station. Though she seemed to do her job well, she felt restless and unhappy with doing the same routine for three years, and having to do her job even during the holidays. She also felt unhappy with the prevailing company culture wherein envy and extreme competitiveness was the norm. She has come to describe her situation as “desperate,” especially since she is not free to just leave her job due to financial constraints.
For Reinert, one possible solution for people who are feeling spiritless with their jobs is to remember that the source of passion more often does not come from external circumstances, but within one’s self.
Often, changing our attitude about our work makes all the difference – choosing to strive for excellence on the job, and giving 100 percent effort will give people the passion outlet that they are looking for. Expressing ourselves in such commitment will attract people to respond the same to us, which will produce fruits of satisfaction, especially if we are able to touch so many lives by doing our best.
On the other hand, for Richard Chang, author of The Passion Plan: A Step-by Step Guide to Discovering, Developing, and Living Your Passion (Jossey-Bass, September 1999), it takes a little more effort to fuse in passion into one’s work life. Sometimes, just choosing to be passionate about one’s job just won’t cut it. Chang recommends keeping high an element of passion in one’s life. If you feel “trapped” in a job you can’t leave, give yourself a little something extra to look forward to that you do feel passionate about.
For example, you may consider enrolling nights at an MA program that you’ve always thought of doing. Get into a cooking course and create weekend projects for yourself. Join volunteer programs during the weekends that will help build your social and leadership skills. This way, Chang says, you’ll not only keep your sanity, but you’ll also keep your energy level and the quality of experience high. This will positively affect your attitude about your job and the way you perform it.
Finally, it is important to remember that our actions determine our destinies. When choosing a job, make sure that you pick one that is in line with your talents and abilities, one that you can imagine yourself doing 5-10 years hence, and a job that builds on your goals and dreams. Don’t pick your career path lightly, or make money as the ultimate criteria of your career decisions. Most of all, do your best no matter what job you end up doing. It will produce an effect that will make you glad you did so.
By Lolita Villa