At several times over the past year, I’ve been engaged in debates about the nature of work and the roll of passion. The fashionable answer seems to be that you should live your passion at all costs with the idea of “if you build it, they (customers, money) will come.” Almost universally, my generation seems to have drank the Kool-Aid. Maintaining, as I do, that passion isn’t the most important thing and can be overrated is heretical. I’m not saying that we should all be doing something we hate, but the average person isn’t going to be so passionate about something that is marketable enough to be of use as a career. There are some people who can do it, and I applaud them. But the average person isn’t as concerned about having a job they are passionate about as having a job they like, they are competent at, and is secure.
The older generation seems to largely agree with me, as seen in the comments in the “The War on Work” post at the blog Get Rich Slowly, where I first saw the Mike Rowe video I posted yesterday. It’s the younger generation, as evidenced by blogs like Untemplater where I’ve been debating my point lately, that believes passion is the be-all-and-end-all. I’m not trying to argue a generational divide on passion, but maybe, those who have been a bit longer understand how the world works a bit better.
At the end of the day, the debate of the passion is asking the wrong question. Why do we care if we are passionate about our work? Why aren’t we just asking if we enjoy it? That seems to me to be a more recognizable and achievable goal.
So here is my question to you: how important is passion in choosing your career?