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Job Search Tips, Jobseekers' Perspective

You Cannot Teach Someone Passion

Why work?

Why work? (Photo credit: opensourceway)

Isn’t it interesting how messages seem to come in clusters? Lately I off-handedly quoted to my daughter the old saying “you only hurt the ones you love,” and she started laughing, saying that was the third time she’d heard someone say that very thing that day. An hour later, we heard it again on TV. We both had to laugh.

Last week I had a similar experience. At a support group I heard a man say, “You can teach a person a lot of things, but you cannot teach them personality.” It reminded me of an interviewing workshop I sat in on, featuring some local employers and recruiters. One said, “I can teach an employee how to use our computer system or how to improve their productivity, but I cannot teach someone passion. They have to learn that for themselves.”

I’ve said time and again the importance of keeping a positive attitude when talking to employers or recruiters. I can pick a bad attitude at 50 paces, and employer can pick them far before I can. I can also pick up on discouragement, just like a dog can sense fear.

That’s not unusual for someone looking for work right now. Constant rejections or non-responses from potential employers is highly defeating as we all know, and jobseekers often take it hard. It weakens their self-confidence. So how do they get past that?

Go back to why you love the job in the first place. Find your passion. Then articulate it. That’s what the employers want to hear anyway.

But what if you don’t really like the job you’re doing? Either find what you like about it or find something that does stimulate your passion. Dr. Randall S. Hansen, in his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Choosing a College Major, says,

Finding a career that you have a passion for is all about obtaining fulfillment. Some of these jobs may also not be the highest-paying jobs in the world, but career passion is not about the money, it’s about how the job makes you feel inside.”

True, that does sound a little Pollyannaish, but having worked in jobs that I could barely tolerate for years took its toll on me. It took me years to finally understand what I truly wanted to do, and that it was closer to me than I realized. I spent thousands of dollars getting education that led me nowhere, and the job of my dreams came free of charge.

all i did was identify what I loved about the job posting that truly excited me, and leanred to articulate it. When I applied, I spoke to how perfect a match the job was to my skills. When I went to the interview, I simply voiced my passion. How easy was that?

I wonder if sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to get that passionate about a prospect for a job we might not get, so we don’t get hurt as much. In that case it may seem to be a gamble, investing emotion in such a way. Maybe, just maybe, that’s the one missing piece an employer may be looking for.

Just a thought.


About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.


3 thoughts on “You Cannot Teach Someone Passion

  1. You have an amazing writing style!!! You are right that you can not teach someone passion to perform their job duties. I do think that it is up to management to be good leaders and provide motivation to their staff to perform their job duties. Management needs to help create an environment that fosters innovation, productivity, and guidance. Thank you for this great article. I am going to visit this blog for sure. Great work and writing. Have a wonderful day.

    Posted by careeradvisor123 | October 16, 2012, 10:06 pm


  1. Pingback: You Cannot Teach Someone Passion | learnactshare - October 2, 2012

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October 2012
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