Find your passion at work

by jeffhilimire on March 24, 2011

I posted a while back about people with passion and why it’s always inspring to be around them.  And being passionate was one of my 12 keys to being excellent at anything.  I’m a big passion guy, for sure.

I’ll be completely transparent on this point: in my new role at Engauge one of my top priorities is to work with the amazing people that come to work every day for this agency and do what I can to help them unlock their passion.

That might be helping them find a way to work on that new technology they’ve been dying to get their hands on, or giving them the opportunity to work with a client that they’re already passionate about, or putting them on a team that aligns with their goals and aspirations.

If you don’t come to work inspired and passionate about what you do, I believe there are only two options: change the place you work or change the place you work.

Life is too short and we spend too much time at our “jobs” not to love coming to work.  If you’re not getting that at your job, raise your hand and start making change.  Be an entrepreneur within your company.

Gandhi has a quote that I freaking love: Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you know me then you know I subscribe to that philosophy with everything I do.  Everything is in your control.  Complaining and not doing anything about it is the worst thing you can do.

Have the confidence to stand up and start talking about the change you want to see.  What’s the worse thing that can happen?  You’ll be let go. Listen, if you are at a company that let’s you go because you suggested ways to make the company better, then you just did the best thing you could have done by getting out of that place.

I know a guy that works at a small company and he felt like he could do so much more to help the company by being involved in the operation side instead of the client side.  His passion was in helping solve the problems, improve workflow, find efficiencies, but he was on client business and could only make an impact with his specific accounts.

So I asked him if he talked to the owner of the company about this and he was hesitant to do it because he didn’t want the owner to think he didn’t like his job and wasn’t a “team player”.   Even though he had the best intentions, he was too worried to bring up his aspirations.

Turns out, he finally did talk to the owner and wouldn’t ya know it, he now runs operations for the company.  He digs coming in to work every day, bounces out of bed on Monday mornings and can’t wait to go after it with passion and energy.  And his boss couldn’t be happier.

I’m currently reading Poke the Box by Seth Godin (it’s only $7.60 for the hardback, you should check it out).  It talks about the very same concept that this blog is based on, beginning the begin.  Get started.  Make change.  And I think that’s a critical concept in striving to make your job align with your passions.

  • http://twitter.com/thorinhanson Thorin Hanson

    I 100% agree with you on this. I tell my kids every day that work should be enjoyable. If you are just working for the money, you are missing such a huge opportunity to enjoy more of life. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to do something I love to do when I started my career.

  • Rsalazar

    Nicely put. My Career is all about the money (Literally) I am an Accountant for a Engineering Consultant Firm for the Air Force. My job is to find, Save and manage a budget the best way possible. While in the process to shield the President from the headaches of the IRS and Taxation (Which brings me great joy that I can help people maneuver right through the fire and come out looking shiny)<3 Love my Job, And My Boss is the Greatest man to have the great pleasure to learn from and work with. NewTech Co = Awesome!

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Glad you responded Thorin, I know you’re also a big passion guy. Makes all the difference in the world doesn’t it.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Man, thanks for commenting! And this just shows you that everyone has their own passions, can’t say I know many people that would get such joy from words like “IRS” and “taxation” :)

    Btw, curious how you found this post? I don’t think I get a lot of accounting people reading this so I’m very curious how you found me!

  • Katie Butterfield

    Can make all the difference in the work too.

    And to quote some random waiter from a reality TV a few years ago right before he quit his restaurant gig, “If I’m not happy for one minute, then I’m wasting my life.”

    Too bad he quit. Because I’d tip big for s’more of his nuggets of wisdom.

  • Travis

    $7.60 Hardback?! Only $4.99 for Kindle version… thought that was your preceded medium? ;-)

  • http://www.kendrickdisch.com/ Kendrick Disch

    “Have the confidence to stand up and start talking about the change you want to see. What’s the worse thing that can happen? You’ll be let go. Listen, if you are at a company that let’s you go because you suggested ways to make the company better, then you just did the best thing you could have done by getting out of that place.”

    That part really rings true for me! I was let go from my agency last week after a long battle of trying to make the company better. Turns out I wasn’t hired to make that company better.

    I’m glad though! These last few days have felt amazing! I’m currently figuring out better ways to work within my passions and I know I’ll be better with a company that understands that concept!

    Loved this line too-
    “If you don’t come to work inspired and passionate about what you do, I believe there are only two options: change the place you work or change the place you work.”

  • Mccray Brian

    “If you don’t come to work inspired and passionate about what you do, I believe there are only two options: change the place you work or change the place you work.”

    Well, I am raising my hand Jeff!!! I am an experienced Project Manager at a small Media/Marketing firm in Atlanta and I have reached a ceiling with my current company. I see that Engauge is actively hiring for Project Managers and I would love the opportunity to showcase my talents with a larger firm like yours! I am ready to “be the change” and be “passionate” about coming to work.

    Visit my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-mccray/a/399/278

    This article was spot on!

  • Jeff Funk

    Tremendous post Jeff! Completely agree with everything that you touched on and then some. I am a firm believer that your work should be (and why not) an extension of your core beliefs and passions. It positions you better in the eyes of managers as a focused employee, it better defines your personal “brand” and most importantly, it puts you on path with grounded feet as opposed to just “floating by.” It might not be the easiest trek getting there but once there, nothing is more fulfilling.

    I actually touched on this in my most recent blog post. http://BrandDynamite.com. Check it out if you can.

    How do you light it up professionally? Take it personally. Stick with your core. Be passionate.

    Hope you, the family and the folks at Engauge are doing well.

    Jeff Funk
    (Blog) http://BrandDynamite.com
    (Email) jfunk@BrandDynamite.com
    (Twitter) @BrandDynamite

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  • http://www.twitter.com/vladgorenshteyn Vlad Gorenshteyn

    You’re right, Jeff. Life *is* too short and the quote “change the place you work or change the place you work” is brilliant. Parents should teach children this mantra from their early working years. It’s like they say “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” What we’ve long forgotten about in this country is 1) enthusiasm and 2) risk-taking. Thank you for blogging your thoughts.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks Vlad, the “change the place you work or change the place you work” line seems to resinate with a lot of folks! Also +1 for enthusiasm…

  • http://www.vladgorenshteyn.com Vlad Gorenshteyn

    as I was image hunting I came across a screenshot from the movie “Network” (not to be confused with “The Social Network”). Somehow I didn’t connect the dots before, but suddenly I remembered your post again. Here’s something else a lot of my peers (in different industries) want to say but are afraid to do so: http://goo.gl/7fUlb [VIDEO]

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  • Rcalbritton

    Great article; very inspiring. I’m going out to get Poke the Box today!

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