First passion and then the right job?

“Search first for your passion and then for the right job” – is this really a good tip?

Silvia Follmann

Where is it, the dream job in which I can realize my passions? (Source: Pexels)

Who wants the suitable job, must know, where the own passions lie. Everything else makes no sense. Yes of course, one wants to say. But is that really always good advice?

First the passion, then the work?

It is this one advice in things career, which we not only give ourselves constantly, but also propagate to family and friends: Find out what you have a passion for and find the right job for it. Because we all want a fulfilled life and that is definitely not the case if we dedicate eight to ten hours a day to a job that we don’t like to do and in which we don’t see any sense. Or? It’s the eternal balancing between money versus fulfillment and time versus passion – the question of what really makes us happy at work.

There is also criticism of the idea of THE job, which can only be found if you already have href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>passion for it. The approach: How does passion for a topic actually develop and wouldn’t it make more sense to first find a job and then develop the passion for it? Well, what do studies say about the topic?

How passion is born out of labour

Interesting is a study by Michael Gielnik, Professor of HR Development at the University of Lüneburg. It was carried out with 54 young entrepreneurs from all over Germany in their pre-launch phase, who were accompanied for eight weeks and were supposed to answer the following questions: “How much more work have they invested in recent weeks to advance their company than was absolutely necessary?” They should also regularly evaluate how they feel about statements like the following: “Last week, I was thrilled by the foundations of a company.” The idea behind it was to investigate the connection between work effort and passion.

The result: The more work they put into their foundation the week before, the more passion they had for their projects in the current week. So: more work, more passion.

However, another study shows that this thesis does not always work out: 136 students were asked to choose one of twelve possible business ideas or to propose their own. Then they were asked to develop business ideas by looking at the market  >a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”> the market, scanning trends and tapping customer needs. The aim was to find out in which of the two settings their passion for the topic is greater. Half of the participants were given only 30 minutes for this task (market analysis) and were told afterwards that this was an unimportant pilot study. With them nothing moved in the matter of passion.

The second half had much more time, but they were told after submitting their results that they had fulfilled their task only superficially and could not have made clear whether their idea was ready for the market. Their passion did not increase either, even though they had invested a lot of time  >a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>time. These two results show: In order to be able to develop passion, one thing above all is needed: meaningfulness.

So how should you start looking for a job?

But what do we do now with the knowledge of how passion arises in relation to the initial question? Well, above all, one should realize that the advice is also associated with an insanely large number of ideals that can make some people fall into a state of shock – because it can also simply overtax them to find a job that truly fills and fills them. Because whoever is told, fulfills your dreams and no less, will soon have something to complain about – what makes us completely happy?

Of course it is still true that the combination of passion and work makes us happy at work. But perhaps in the first step a task that is conclusive in itself, that is also conclusive for us and in which we can recognize that our work force and time are well invested is sufficient. It may not always be the same task that makes our lives richer, more beautiful and better – and in the end may even make us better people.

In the end it’s all about happiness in life at work and for that you also need good colleagues, a good salary, a working climate that suits us and and and… Passion should certainly always be part of our working life, but it is not alone that makes us happy at work. And isn’t it also the case that passions often only encounter us when we happen to come across a new topic? Surely we do not yet know many of the passions that will accompany and fulfill us. Maybe that’s why a good advice is: Do what you enjoy, where you can make a difference and stay open for new things – perhaps your new passion is waiting there.