There are three reasons why passion is important in the workplace:
- It means you genuinely care about success
- Provides an internal motivation
- It is outwardly obvious and gives you authenticity.
Too often people, particularly women, can get caught up around skill sets and knowledge when it comes to applying for jobs or deciding on next steps in their careers. The thing is though, I’m a firm believer that every opportunity you take should teach you in some way. You need to be learning and to do that you need to take on roles/responsibilities that are beyond your current experience or skill set. This is where passion comes into play.
Story time: once upon a time I was a student applying for my first internship. I studied Psychology at university but attended a university renowned for business, so there was a huge focus on getting an internship. They would put on career days whereby companies would come in, tell you why you should work there, talk about the application process and give you freebies. Nine out of ten companies told me not to apply for a role in marketing or PR because I didn’t study business. Oh, how I wish I had a crystal ball at that point in time to show them where I am now. More fool them though, it gave me such a fire in my belly and that’s when I first used the phrase: you can teach me anything you need to but you can’t teach someone else to have my passion.
I didn’t work for one of those companies – nor would I want to work for a company that judged me solely on my choice of degree. The thing is, it’s my passion that keeps me going when things get tough and I think that’s the same for most people. When you truly care about something it makes it personal for you which gives you a whole different level of motivation to do the very best you can. It means that you care about the outcome for whoever or whatever you are working for – a company, your clients, yourself. At the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather with someone who genuinely cares and is going to try their best to get the best outcome?
Now onto the third point I make – authenticity. Now more than ever people want to make connections with other people and brands that represent their own passions/values, even if it’s a B2B engagement (I bang on about this a lot, I know). Thing is, when you’re not passionate about something people can tell. If it isn’t something you believe in at the core of yourself then it is damn obvious – unless you a very accomplished actor in which case maybe you should rethink a career in Hollywood. From a personal branding perspective, investing in causes that you are passionate about will draw people to you. You’ll radiate enthusiasm and that person wondering whether or not to invest in you, will feel that. You’ll be remembered and even more so, remembered for the feeling that you evoke in other people.
Obviously there are occasions where skills & knowledge have a greater role to play and by no means am I trying to say that passion is all you need. But next time you’re weighing up whether to go for a job, take on a new project or client, ask yourself if it’s something you’re passionate about. Because if it is, chances are you’ll make it your mission to learn all those skills that are required, you’ll immerse yourself fully into the role and do everything you can to better yourself & the outcome for that client/project/company.