Posted August 13, 2018 by Mark Perna
Are you passionate for your profession?
In my upcoming book Answering Why, I share that when it comes to making a living, we only do one of three things. Number one, we have a job. This describes the type of work that feels like drudgery or a dead end. We don’t love it, we may not even like it—we just do it because we have to. Most people have experienced this at some point in their working lives.
Number two, we build a career. This is a role where we feel driven to succeed and do our work well. But it’s still laborious at times, and our emotions and passion don’t come into play. We go in, do our time, and at times may dismiss our work from mind as soon as we head out the door.
But the third option, and the one I see modeled most frequently by the education and workforce development professionals I work with daily, is different. It’s pursuing a mission. Work doesn’t feel like work because we are doing something we are passionate about, something we believe in. Our “want-to” fuels the “how-to” so strongly that we are eager to perform the tasks and projects that achieve our vision.
Pursuing a mission in our professional lives transcends both the drudgery of a mere job and the commitment to a career because it’s bigger than the income or status that comes with the position. This is what it means to have passion for our profession—we see it as a mission, and one that matters to many more people than just ourselves.
So what drives this passion? Several answers leap to mind.
Passion for our profession comes from what we value. It’s when we believe in something bigger than ourselves. Every educator and workforce development trainer I know who embraces a true passion for the profession is remarkably fulfilled in that work. No, it’s not always easy. It doesn’t always feel good and sometimes the rewards are not immediately evident. But we know it’s what we were born to do. And we know the world will be better for the time, energy, and effort we give. That’s what it means to pursue a mission—to live, work, and invest every day with passion for our profession.