Is Passion out of Fashion?
The Catch-22 Misconception: Your First Job
There is a new booming ideology sweeping across Corporate Planet Earth.
Why can’t I get an entry level job without experience but can't get experience without an entry level job?
It’s such a maddening vortex of frustration, doubt and anxiety, decelerating the locomotive you call your career to an absurd halt, disembarking the passengers you call your self-worth and decommissioning the whole bloody railway you call your life.
That's true (to an extent), but it isn't the point we should focus on. It isn't the point we should be allocating emotional and physical resources. Why are so many young people nowadays brought to the point of rage and protest over such a minor and to be quite frank, fully surmountable obstacle? The only thing that makes and breaks you is yourself. The real Catch-22.
Yes yes I know indeed how cheesy it sounds, but it's true. You dictate your mood, your effort, your emotions, your path... who is stopping you from happiness other than yourself? The world isn't an easy place where one can thrive under any condition and make a name for themselves without suffering. The world throws things at you, things which one cannot deal with, and takes away things that one cannot deal without.
In life, we have a path in which we traverse. This path takes a lifetime to conclude, a path fully tangible, entwined, revisable and as distant as possible for human comprehension. Some believe in destiny or fate, that’s great, so do I. What distinguishes one from another is the degree that one can change their path. The degree that one can join the path of others, or even remove themselves from it.
The path is somewhat clear. It’s what you meet upon it. What stops us from insanity, what gives us motivation to endure? Why are we force fed the ideology of a professional blue collar career and to abandon the things which make us happy? Why do you hear of people forced to make decisions between success and happiness. If I am happy, I will not be a success and if I'm successful then I will have no time for happiness. This is wrong.
Why do I see artists, photographers, chefs, writers, poets, thinkers and innovators give up their passions to pursue a career? What do we think the word career really means. Correlation between career and life is not 1. It is closer to 0 that you think. Live to work or work to live? How about neither? How about just, live. What does it mean to live? It means a balance of things.
My passion is to cook. It makes me happy. Not once in my life have I put my passion on hold. Not once have I said I don't have time. Let's be honest, from university, to present day, we have a lot of time. Our time is just allocated in all the wrong areas. I believe the purpose of life is to be happy. Not to find it, not to strive for it, to live happy.
There are a multitude of things that stop you from being happy, but only one factor that you indeed control. Passion.
Now why is this important? Think about it. With passion what is stopping you from having a fully-fledged professional career by day and Vincent van Gogh at night? With passion, what is forcing you to make a decision between happiness and success? With passion what is it that takes you on a path that intertwines with that of others, sailing smooth and rough seas. It builds character. Now finally, what molds you, forms you, builds you is all about being yourself. Passion.
Why has any of this been worth my time? I’ll tell you. In your first proper job, you and I both know we have absolutely nothing in terms of experience to offer. Yes we memorize the website, their services, read the news, did a background check the day before. None of this is the vital step. University does not prepare you for the real life, neither had the rest of your schooling. So how do you separate yourself from the crowd? Why should you make an impression where others in your shoes failed?
Imagine this. The person sitting in front of you in the interview is just like you. They hate to get up in the morning just as you do. They get tired at work and want to go home just like you. They act like us, just at a different level. Now do you have the personality to fit within the team? Do you have the characteristics that could be nurtured and molded into an epic corporate fit? Do you have the motivation and determination to honestly say you know nothing, but are willing to do anything for a chance? Well there is really one very tangible method to show you are indeed human, just like the hiring manager sitting in front of you. It’s pretty obvious what it is now.
At our young age, hiring managers know very well, that there is very little from us to offer. They know it’s hard to get an entry level job without experience. A hiring manager needs to see potential in you, needs to imagine a working life of seeing, listening and speaking to you every day. They need to imagine life with you in it. So why do you come to the interview, blank as cardboard talking about the time you ran a society in university. They may act like they care, but lunch is on their mind. Make them laugh, break them down, reduce the tension in the air. It starts with you. Talk about your life, about your passions, get to know the hiring manager, don’t feel pressured into being someone you aren’t it is very see-through.
Life isn’t always about the rat race. Each and every piece of the puzzle you call life needs as much attention as the rest. Those who disregard passion for career end up finding life to be very short. That is fortunately not the case. If you live a balanced life where you pursue a career, build a family, connect with friends and nurture a passion, then I promise you, life can be without regret and very clear indeed.