Saturday, December 06, 2008

What’s Your Passion?

I went on a job interview this past week. It was interesting. I probably could have had the job, except I couldn’t give the answers she was looking for to these questions: “Are you passionate about being a switchboard operator? Is this something you can make your career?” So many things pass through my head at that point. Things like, “Are you serious? I’m 47 years old and I have lots of passions, none of them have to do with answering the phone for eight hours a day.” But those words didn’t come out of my mouth.

Instead, I said, “Excuse me?” In which she repeated, “I’m looking for someone who will be passionate about this job. Someone with experience and will love what they do and make it their career.” When she said the word “passionate” she made two fists to emphasize the word with a great deal of passion in her voice. Showing great restraint by not laughing, I replied, “Well, I can’t say I have “passion” to answer phones but I would do a good job.”

She looked disappointed. Needless to say I didn’t take the job. This was one intense individual. If she was that intense during the interview, what type of boss would she have been? If I got sick, would I be expected to come in anyway? I’ve worked for intense people who depended too much on what I do. I tell you what, it’s not worth it. I hated the job. I cried on the way to work. I dreaded Mondays because the vicious cycle would start all over again.

The other thing about this job that made me a bit uncomfortable was the big sign before entering that said, “No hand guns or weapons of any kind are allowed on these premises.” You also had to be buzzed into the building. I took note of that and said it was best I look elsewhere.

I have lots of passion for many things, unfortunately being a switchboard operator in a bad part of town is not among my list.

I’m passionate about God, about my husband and kids. I’m passionate about writing. I’m passionate about helping people. I can even be passionate about a good meal and a nice Merlot. I understand that some people are passionate about their jobs; I’ve only had only one I felt that way about. The one exception would be when I took care of my kids when they were little and I didn't work outside the home. That I had passion for that in a big way. Other than that for me a job is a job. It’s a way to pay the bills.

So tell me; Are you passionate about your job? What are you passionate about?

© Nadine Zawacki 2008


chelle said...

I am lucky my kids are my job, as well as looking after the affairs of the home and helping my husband. All things I can be passionate about.

Scarlet said...

That woman's insane! Then again, aren't all women bosses a little crazy? No offense to the (precious and few) female supervisors out there who actually have it together.

Honestly, I wouldn't say I was "passionate" about any job I've ever had. I've enjoyed working at certain places, but not to the point of passion. lol

I think people in the entertainment industry tend to be more passionate about their work because a lot of it involves self expression. Maybe you feel passionate about your book, and I can understand that. I can't imagine anyone feeling passionate about a 9-5 office job. Seriously.

palmtreefanatic said...

ummm...I guess I am passionate in all the things I do! I do take great pride in my home and my kids and family!

Bex said...

YES! (exclaimed while shaking two fists in the air)

1. Primarily a Homemaker - I love "making" my home.

2. a few hours a week as a yoga instructor - I actually get sad if classes get canceled and I can't go to "work". and of course i enjoy the hours I pour into researching and studying for my job.

neither of my jobs entail earning a living (bread winning is my husband's specialty) so it only makes sense to love my work. although yoga brings in my mad money so without it, mama wouldn't have her new boots!

It's All Good! said...

Yes, I am passionate about my job of raising our daughter. Passionate about home-educating her. I'm like you, however, any outside jobs are to help pay the bills.
Brenda :)

Toby Parsons said...

Thanks for the hysterical laugh Nadine! My thoughts are your thoughts, exactly and more! :) I'm awarding you with an A+ for maintaining your composure. I don't know that I could have done it! LOL

My only true passions are God, my husband, my kids, grandkids, and my home and my friends. Maybe quilting, gardening and reading. My husband is a commercial diesel mechanic. I do all the books, etc. It is my so called 'job' and while I am very fortunate and thankful to be able to work from home and help my husband at the same time, I am NOT passionate that. It simply helps to earn the income is all.

KarenW said...

I don't think I've ever been passionate about any job that I was paid for. I'm passionate about God, His Word, my family, homeschooling and some others . . .Answering phones? That's a tough thing to be passionate about.

Jillian, Inc said...

I consider my family my job and I am most definitely passionate about them. I like what I do - most of the time - and get real satisfaction out of it. But sometimes I dread it, too. It's not really what is important in life. And I don't expect passion for the job from any of my employees, either. I've been working since age 16 (25 years!!) and have learned that my work is not my life.

Dawn said...

That is too funny! I've worked switchboards, and though sometimes enjoyable, it was definitely not a career builder!

But I do have to say that I was quite passionate about my job at the university when I was "mothering" the MSW students through the unfriendly grad school process. I attained a great deal of satisfaction from the interaction with those students. But now I can't figure out how I had time for working!

There HAS to be something better out there for you. Are you still doing the cyber-planning job?

Marla said...

I guess I have to say that perhaps I am lucky that I have a true passion for the work I do! I think that you have to have a love for what you do in my field of work. As Scarlet say's I am one of those crazy women bosses! Working with folks with developmentally disabilities is quite rewarding. Our emphsis is on employment first. Teaching someone what a job is and doing career planning, and finding them a real job, with real pay, in the real world, when no one said it is possible, is more rewarding than I can describe in words! To see someone's personality and confidence grow in leaps in bounds is cool! I could go on and on about why I have a passion for my job. It's helping people acheive their dreams and yes I have a love and passion for what I do! Perhaps that is why I moved to a new director's postion in our agency to help the one that is struggling, so that we may to shine one day! I have passion for many things, the Lord my God, my family, and cooking! That's not all of course, but that's enough said! I would not be able to say, Oh, I am so passionate about answering phones. By the way, I don't ask that question in an interview. I can read people really well. I can feel passion sometimes in people, true passion and false passion!

jennifer said...

I am not even sure what I am passionate about. I seem to be living my life on an even keel, enjoying it for the most part, but PASSION?

Something to think about.

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

Hmmmm... I wonder if this woman is passionate about interviewing, because it doesn't seem that she gets her PASSION across to the person on the other side of the table. Just her crazed need to supervise!

Passion. Like you, I am passionate about loving and taking care of my family. I also taught disadvantaged high school kids for 30 years, and I can say that I was passionate about my job. It was remarkable and even miraculous to watch a young person who hated school and reading and learning to "get it." The eyes, the face, the soul lit up with the discovery of words and books and life and adventure just by opening the pages. I brought this passion home with me each night, and I think this overflowed into my own children, who realized how fortunate they were to have loving parents who loved them and cared what they did each day (yes, even homework!).

I love this post, Nadine. Sometimes the simplest questions at the oddest times allow us to assess our own lives. I guess this woman actually gave you a gift... and that was to realize that the world needs you in a different way.

Jacki said...

I agree...she would have probably demanded more from you than what you would want to give. Peter and I both have worked for bosses that were "passionate" about their jobs, and though we always give 100% to our jobs while we are working, once we are home, we are passionate about our family. Work is work.

2writehands said...

"I hated the job. I cried on the way to work. I dreaded Mondays because the vicious cycle would start all over again."

I think we must've had the same job, just at different times. :) I also operated a switchboard for a few long years, and I've come to believe that passion on the job rarely happens for those who aren't musicians or athletes. So many of us work to pay for our passions.

Christina said...

I would of cracked up I know it. Imagine you saying "yes I am oh so passionate about answering your phones." What does she mean career? I am starting to look for a job and I can't imagine I will say "yes I am so passionate about cleaning your toilets." I sometimes do housekeeping work.

Ann(ie) said...

I am passionate about my job and I've put a lot into my career, but that woman sounds a bit annoying. And maybe the teensiest bit um, what's the word....cukoo? hehe. I'm also very passionate about any and all chocolate. 8)

Shionge said...

Hiya Nadine, this is so interesting and I do know that if given a task I would be passionate about fulfilling it.

I have been working here for 25 years and even till today I am very passionate about the things I do, dealing with friends and socializing at the workplace too :D