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Why and How to Have Passion in Your Work

August 10, 2017 Justin James

Do you remember when you entered the workforce? Whether it’s after studying for four years of college, a break for maternity leave, or changing careers altogether, you probably tried to answer the questions, “What should I do with the rest of my life?” or “What am I good at?”

For most, though, it coincides with the question, “What am I passionate about?”

Passion, drive, motivation, zeal, whatever you want to call it, is an attitude and energy about your job, your work and your life which will help lead you down the path of success. Passion is a much more powerful energy than fear, anxiety or boredom. Having a passion for your work energizes you and helps you to look forward to what you do.  

Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” If you aren’t satisfied in your current job, or have ever been unhappy at work, you’re not alone.

Over 52% of Americans say they’re unhappy at work, according to a new report by the Conference Board, the New York-based nonprofit research group.

When statistics are showing that over half the American population doesn’t love what they do, or are unhappy in their current role, that’s extremely discouraging. When people are engaged, and find passion in what they’re doing, they do their best work. When they’re disengaged, bored or not passionate, that’s when it becomes “work.”

As Confucius says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When we know what we’re passionate about, when we’re doing work we love, we can reach our full potential.

That’s not to say work isn’t or won’t ever be hard or complicated. However, when those hard times happen or complications arise, doing something you love and are passionate about will always help ease the sting of “work.”

One of my favorite quotes I use a lot to describe business comes from Simon Sinek. It states, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Basically, Simon is saying people want to believe in a cause, something deeper than the product or solution. The motivation and reason behind the action is more important. We want to feel connected to an individual or a company on a deeper level than just being a consumer. If you’re not passionate about what you do, it will be evident, and you’ll miss that connection. If you’re not passionate about your work, it will be clear as day in your performance and the results of your efforts will be affected in a negative way.

Mojo’s Core Values

One of Mojo’s core values is passion, or rather, borderline obsession.

You see, we strive to find people who not only love what they do, but who have the right attitude. Sure we want writers who obsess over research, details, grammar and produce high-level content. We absolutely desire designers who spend hours in Adobe pouring over how to make content engaging, beautiful and on-brand. But we don’t hire just based on skills, we absolutely need the right fit. A passion for the company, clients and for people is vastly more important. We can always teach skills.

At Mojo, our passion is exemplified by our leadership. Mike and Nikole are clearly passionate about the world of inbound marketing, but more importantly, they’re passionate about people and seeing people and their businesses succeed. Their overflow of passion trickles down (Reaganomics anyone?) to the rest of the team, encouraging us to find what we love to do, where we’re the best fit, and go after it 100 percent.

What’s beautiful about Mojo, is that we may have been hired for a job, but we’re empowered and encouraged to do things we love. When we’re allowed to hone in on those areas, we do our best work, not just for Mojo, but for our clients as well.

Find What You’re Passionate About 

One of the questions I’ve always asked people is, “If you could do anything in the world for the rest of your life, and not get paid for it, what would you do?” If you can answer that question honestly, you’re well on your way to finding what it is you’re passionate about.

The answer could be anything. The trick is finding the connection between what you love and would do for no money, and finding a career in that same arena.

For instance, if you love everything about sports, the stats, the games, digging into fantasy football number-crunching, sharing who had the most yards-per-catch from last Sunday night’s Cowboys vs. Giants game, then you might need to consider a career in sports statistics. Or if you spend hours after work reading food blogs, watching Tasty YouTube videos, and creating your own recipes, you might consider moving to Paris and learning French cuisine.

A reason why the Mojo Core Value, Passion, resonates with me is because I'm passionate about a multitude of things. I love geeking out over my budget with my wife, Caroline, and at Mojo, we practice The Great Game of Business, which lets me excercise finance without focusing my career on finance. I'm a huge advocate of coaching and mentoring, and I can do so through our internship program. At Mojo, we also have "Majors and Minors". My major is strategic digital marketing and client relations, but my minor is photography, and I'm allowed to cultivate that into my work. I chose to come work at Mojo because it allows me to practice my passions, and do what I love to do. 

So what excites YOU? What gets your blood pumping? What is the one thing you love so much it keeps you awake at night?

Here are some other questions to ask yourself to help you figure out what you love to do:

  1. What’s my favorite part about my current job?
  2. What’s my least favorite part about my current job?
  3. When am I the best version of myself at work?
  4. How do I spend my spare time?
  5. What are my hobbies, or what do I wish was a hobby?

Write down the answers to these questions, find some commonalities, and you’ll have a great roadmap for finding work that isn’t “work.”

Go Big!

I’m not here to tell you that you only get one shot at this life, or you have to make it count, or any other high-level inspirational stuff. I’ll leave that to Tony Robbins. What I do want to encourage you is to find what you truly love to do, and incorporate it into your daily work. What I have discovered is typically, those things don’t come for you, you have to chase them down and pursue them fervently.

I challenge all of you, whether you’re unhappy at work or not, find what you truly love to do in life, and go do it BIG. It may change along the way, and that’s okay. Not everything will be perfect every day either, but if you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, something that has “purpose” to it, you will find meaning and fulfillment, and hopefully, it won’t feel like “work."

Justin James

Justin James

Justin began his marketing career trying to grow his own photography business. He then moved into doing demand generation marketing for a Saas company in Dallas. After some consultant work for a year, he eventually began working in digital advertising for one of the largest ad clients in the United States. Each stop has provided Justin with a different experience, giving him a well-rounded approach to marketing. Now he calls Mojo home, where he shares best practices from his past lives!

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