Heart with question Is do what you love bad career advice

Part 2: Passion Takes Time

This is part 2 in a 4-part series from “Do What You Love” Is Horrible Advice.


The “hobby” passion is much different from the kind of passion you hope to find in your business career.

“Producing something important, gaining respect for it, feeling a sense of control over your life, feeling a connection to other people—that gives people a real sense of passion,” says Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love.

Roughly speaking, work can be broken down into three categories: a job, a career, or a calling. A job pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. (Clearly most people want their work to be a calling.)

What is the strongest predictor of people seeing their work as a calling? The number of years spent on the job. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to love your work.

Why? The more experience you have the better your skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills.

The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. Plus you’ve had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.

Where business success is concerned, passion is almost always the result of time and effort. It’s not a prerequisite.


Written by Jeff Hayden, a LinkedIn inFluencer, ghostwriter, and speaker, and an Inc. Magazine contributing editor. This post is reprinted from LinkedIn, June 23, 2014, featured in “Do What You Love” Is Horrible Advice.

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