What do you need to build a strong long-term career? Skills and knowledge are obvious. Passion is vital!
Passion is an emotion that comes from within. It refers to a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.
Recently, I came across this quote by Martin Luther King Jr.:
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well’.
This is a really good example of both passion and success. Our career success doesn’t depend so much upon what we do, but how well we do it. It illustrates that, regardless of your chosen career, you can be successful if you are passionate about the work you do. The streetsweeper wasn’t necessarily passionate about his work (let’s face it, when you compare it to the work of an artist or a poet, it doesn’t sound very interesting), but he was passionate about being the best streetsweeper! He focused on doing his job well and, ultimately, he was recognised for that.
A career is a lifelong journey. Research shows that, on average, we will have ten different jobs throughout our career. Regardless of your current job, bringing passion to your work can lay a foundation for success – and not just success in your current job, but success in your future jobs too. Regardless of whether you like or dislike the work you do at this present time, the attitude you have towards it can play a pivotal role in your career.
When we have a positive outlook, we enjoy what we do, we do a good job and we are recognised for the work we do. Every job has its ups and downs, and from personal experience, I am yet to come across somebody who loves what they do 100% of the time. When we focus on being the best we can be, we are more productive, we feel happy and we enjoy what we do. We feel motivated and energised. People start noticing the good work we do and we are praised for it … We even open ourselves up to new opportunities such as promotions or further training and development. Are you noticing the pattern here?
Don’t sabotage your career success!
If we choose to focus on the negatives, it is harder for us to focus on our work, we end up watching the clock, we feel less productive and have less energy, we aren’t motivated to perform at our best, and thus we push away opportunities to grow our careers and get noticed. It’s a form of self-sabotage.
Maya Angelou once said:
What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.
To be passionate about anything you firstly have to care about it. Ultimately, being passionate about your career comes down to your attitude.
Here are my seven tips for growing the passion in your career:
- Know your job and what is expected of you, then work to exceed expectations.
- Be determined to be the best you can be.
- Always be willing to help others.
- Don’t complain.
- Everything is better when you smile.
- Treat others how you would like to be treated.
- Engage in your work and with your co-workers.
Passion is an emotion; a state of mind. The first thing we must do is find something we enjoy doing and then motivate ourselves to do it well. We need to take the good with the bad, but choose to focus on the positives. Remember, positive people are successful people!
What else do you think are vital to creating a strong long-term career? Share them with us below.