passion   3408

« earlier    

3 Reasons It’s So Hard to “Follow Your Passion”
3 Reasons It’s So Hard to “Follow Your Passion”
Jon M. Jachimowicz
October 15, 2019
Summary Save Share Comment Print 8.95 Buy Copies

The Latest Research: Managing Yourself
View Details

The 6 Fundamental Skills Every Leader Should Practice
View Details

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Women and Leadership (Paperback + Ebook)
View Details

How many times have you been told to “follow your passion?” It’s a message that appears in everything from graduation speeches to job ads. We even say it ourselves. When I surveyed a recent class of Columbia Business School MBA students, over 90% of them listed “pursuing their passion” as an important goal for their future jobs.

But according to a recent Deloitte survey of 3,000 full-time U.S. workers, across job levels and industries, only 20% say they are truly passionate about their work. Research that I and others have conducted show that many—if not most—of us don’t know how to pursue our passion, and thus we fail to do so. How do we fix this conundrum? Research on passion suggests that we need to understand three key things: (1) passion is not something one finds, but rather, it is something to be developed; (2) it is challenging to pursue your passion, especially as it wanes over time; and (3) passion can also lead us astray, and it is therefore important to recognize its limits.

Don’t Wait to Find Your Passion
One common misperception people have about passion is that it is fixed: you either have passion for something or you don’t. The problem with this belief is that it’s limiting, leading us to think of passion as something we discover or happen upon. As a result, we may try many different jobs looking for the right “fit,” the role that instantly flips the passion switch, and we may not take into account the fact that it often takes time to develop one’s passion for a job, along with the skills, confidence, and relationships that allow one to experience passion for work.

Indeed, research has shown that believing passion is fixed can make people less likely to explore new topics—potential new sources of passion. It also leads people to give up on new pursuits more quickly if they seem difficult.

To better pursue your passion, challenge your assumption that passion is something to be discovered. Focus on actively developing a passion instead. For example, you can craft your job to spend more time exploring the tasks you are more passionate about (or simply those that pique your curiosity) and working with those who inspire you. It also helps to get to know coworkers, what they are passionate about, and how they view their work. This can lead to opportunities to help each other pursue your passions. Finally, you don’t necessarily even need to pursue passion at work. If your job does not allow you to pursue your passion, or if you just don’t want to do so at work, you can find time and space to pursue activities you are passionate about outside of your job.

Focus on What You Care About, Not on What Is Fun
One of the most common ways we try to pursue our passion is that we chase what gives us the most joy or is the most fun. In one study, my coauthors and I analyzed every graduation speech given in the last 10 years at the top 100 U.S. universities and plucked out instances where speakers gave students advice on how to pursue their passion. Much of the advice centered on “focusing on what you love” as the way to follow your passion. But some speakers described the pursuit of passion as “focusing on what you care about.” The distinction is subtle but meaningful: focusing on what you love associates passion with what you enjoy and what makes you happy, whereas focusing on what you care about aligns passion with your values and the impact you want to have.

In a subsequent study of several hundred of employees, we found that those who believed pursuing passion meant following what brings one joy were less likely to be successful in their pursuit of passion, and were more likely to quit their job 9 months down the line, than those who believed following passion was focusing on what one cares about.

Why does following what you care about make you more successful at pursuing passion? It seems that this belief helps you weather the challenges that are part of the pursuit. Consider that the German word for passion, “Leidenschaft,” literally translates to “the ability to hardship.” In another set of studies, I found that passion alone is only weakly related to employees’ performance at their work. But the combination of passion and perseverance—i.e., the extent to which employees stick with their goals even in the face of adversity—was related to higher performance.

The reality is that passion wanes over time, so if you just focus on following happiness, you might not stick with an endeavor like you would if you focused on how it helps you achieve what you care most about. When you’re pursuing your passion, it’s important to bear in mind that resilience is key, because the pursuit of passion is an ongoing—and challenging—process.

Overcome the Limits of Passion
It’s also important to understand when passion won’t help you. In one set of studies, my coauthors and I found that passion is only linked to better performance when (a) others agree with what one is passionate about, and (b) when passion is expressed in an appropriate context (since people tend to view passion as more appropriate in some fields, such as consulting, than others, such as accounting).

What does this mean? Imagine you’re presenting a project at work that you are passionate about. We find that expressing your passion may only help you if your audience already agrees with what you are presenting. If they are not already on board, your passion for the subject may not be effective in bringing them along. Similarly, if you are an entrepreneur, expressing passion for your idea may help bring investors on board, but expressing passion when discussing the term sheet may not have the same inspiring effect because of who we allow to demonstrate passion.

In another series of studies, employees described as passionate were more likely to be exploited by others because they were seen as enjoying their work more. As a result, others were more likely to ask passionate employees to take on undesirable tasks and work overtime. This highlights a challenging paradox: expressing your passion can be beneficial because others admire you more and may help you become more successful. At the same time, it may also make it more likely they will ask you to take on tasks that fall outside of narrow job descriptions, placing you at risk of stretching yourself too thin and burning out.

Another study, led by Erica Bailey at Columbia Business School, found that more passionate employees were also more likely to be overconfident. In some situations, this is beneficial; for example, if entrepreneurs took the actual base rate of start-up successes into account, many would not continue founding. In many work settings, however, overconfidence can lead to detrimental work outcomes, such that passionate and overconfident employees are less likely to seek the feedback and information necessary to succeed. If you are passionate about your work, bear in mind that this may lead to an inflated view of your own abilities and work output. This might make it more important that you seek out feedback from others, and clarify on where you truly stand; otherwise you may believe that your passion propels you, while it only does so in your head.

Many of us want to pursue our passions, and organizations commonly encourage this. But the fact is we often don’t know how to do this. Viewing passion as able to be developed, as a challenging ongoing process, and as something that may lead you astray may help us better achieve our goals.

Jon M. Jachimowicz is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on two topics. First, he studies employees’ passion for their work, highlighting that passion is an attribute that varies over time. Second, he studies economic inequality, exploring how disparities in income are perceived, and how they influence individual’s emotions and behaviors. He particularly focuses on how those at the bottom of the income distribution can be supported to attain more favorable long-term outcomes. He received a Ph.D. in Management from Columbia Business School.
career  passion  misjudgement  success 
14 days ago by enochko
Untitled (
“How to Build Loyalty Through Leadership” von Bryan Kramer

H/t ☀️💙
Leadership  Passion  from twitter_favs
5 weeks ago by jhill5
Thought Leadership vs. Cult of Personality - Feld Thoughts
Quote: "I remembered the thought again this morning which prompted this post. I now have a simple way to separate between cult of personality and thought leadership. CP: Obsessed about me, me, me
TL: Obsessed about the product, mission, idea
When the entrepreneur or CEO becomes the center of the narrative – or more specifically makes themself the center of the narrative – that’s a big red flag from my perspective." Been there.
leadership  entrepreneurship  obsession  passion 
5 weeks ago by ajohnson1200
How I Scored a $50K Freelance Project - Falling Into Freelancing (Medium, 8/25/2019)
Six years ago, I resigned from a job that had been slowly killing me. Mine was a generation that didn’t understand the concept of freelancing. We were reared to believe that success meant shackling…
freelance  consulting  freedom  passion  interest 
9 weeks ago by davidkoren
Haven't Found Your Passion? Stop Worrying And Do This Instead
Dive headfirst into your work. Figure out the parts you like the most and work to get better at them. Minimize the less-pleasant tasks, but also accept that every job — even the very best jobs — have terrible tasks and terrible days and even some terrible weeks. It doesn’t mean you are destined to live a life of misery. More importantly, it doesn’t mean you should quit your job in what might be a fruitless search for passion. If you can't find a way to be passionate about your current job, try some subtle shifts, either in what you do or where you do it, that could move you into a happier direction.

Also, remember that your career doesn’t have to fulfill all of your needs. You can develop passions outside the office. Start a family. Write a novel. Start a nonprofit. Raise money for a good cause. Get a side hustle. Run for local office. The happiest people live rich, whole lives that include interests outside of their careers. Sure, some of the most famous, successful and wealthy people are singularly focused on their passion. Athletes and artists come to mind. But most often they were born that way, they didn’t “find” that passion, and their lives have plenty of pain, struggle and compromise.

I am the Executive Director of Path Forward, a nonprofit organization on a mission to empower women to restart their careers after a break for caregiving. We work with companies to create midcareer internships — sometimes called “returnships” — to give women (and men) a jump start back to the paid workforce. I am building the organization from the ground up, working with donors, employers and participants to fulfill our mission. Before Path Forward I spent a decade as a tech marketing executive with data solutions provider, Return Path. Before that I worked in book publishing at Simon & Schuster and Houghton Mifflin and held senior-level web editorial positions at iVillage and News Corporation. I am passionate about helping women find career success and personal satisfaction.
3000  work  passion 
12 weeks ago by craniac
Kerry is a Melbourne based artist with a passion for creating Abstract Art. Kerry's work has a strong sense of vibrant colour and texture that b… | Art in 2019…
From Pinterest: Kerry is a Melbourne based artist with a passion for creating Abstract Art. Kerry's work has a strong sense of vibrant colour and texture that brings to a space energy and emotion. Kerry works with Acrylic as a primary medium and uses a number of unique techniques to achieve patina and depth in her work. Her work is strongly influenced by the complexity and beauty of natural textures and layers.
ifttt  pinterest  Kerry  is  a  Melbourne  based  artist  with  passion  for  creating  Abstract  Art.  Kerry's  work  has  strong  sense  of  vibrant  colour  and  texture  that  brings  to  space  energy  emotion.  Kerr 
august 2019 by errehache
How to find your big hunger- Tererai Trent KikkiK podcast
I always talk about there are two kinds of hungers in our lives. There is the small hunger, the little hunger, the little hunger is all about immediate gratification, “I want this now.” But the great hunger, which is the other hunger, is hunger for meaning in our life. We all want to live a life with purpose, so how do we find that great hunger in our lives? By asking a simple question, what breaks my heart? Because it is in those moments of my brokenness, I begin to feel a stirring in my heart to right the wrongs of my past, the wrongs of my generations, to right the wrongs of my community, because it is what breaks my heart.
purpose  meaning  passion 
august 2019 by claudinechi

« earlier