Passion in the market and job market

The word ‘passion’ has become very popular in the temporary market and job market: a company tries to persuade us that it is not simply the best, but that it works on its commissions or products with passion; an employer expects that the working person does not do his job only because of the money, not because he likes it or is enthusiastic about it, but with passion, the highest motivation of all.

It is also broadly believed that somebody who has a passion, should work on it professionally, because this is meant to be the best condition for a job: you enjoy what you do and get the greatest financial profit out of it (here it is assumed that passionate working persons are good in their field as well).

Therefore the one that offers a position and the one who looks for it believe not only that the qualifications of the candidate should suit the offered job (and vice versa), but that the position and the qualifications are in accordance with the presumed passion of the applicant.

This fact is very misleading from both perspectives (employee/employer). A work position has two characteristics for the working person: at first, the freedom that it offers is always restricted and second, it does not exist for the pleasure of the working person. These two features are not compatible with any passion and the result is the partial or total restriction of it.

I will give here a typical example for this case. During my music studies I was acquainted with many musicians that studied an orchestra instrument. All of them decided to become musicians not because they wanted to make money, but because they had a passion for it. After their studies most of them found a job in an orchestra, after being selected among many others. There they had rather to obey conductors (who were sometimes worse musicians than them) than being creative, and to go through a tiring repetition of the repertory. If they could not find a second job of higher demands, most of them would prefer the artistic death in favour of the financial security; but this is exactly the opposite principle of their initial decision. A person with less or no passion would suit this job better.

Therefore a passionate person should either look for a job that offers great freedom, e.g. a high position, or work independently of employers. I think that the only exception here is the passion for money; this can work everywhere.

On the other hand, people that have passion for something, are not easily accepted by the others. They are so concentrated in their passion, that they neglect themselves, their other activities and the persons close to them. The passion functions as a drug, it gives them enormous pleasure (sometimes at high costs) and makes the rest of the world appearing boring to them.

So why is our market full of passion? I think that there are two reasons for it.

First, in conditions of a very competitive market besides qualification, and efficiency, the factor motivation has become very important. In terms of continuous inconstancy, high motivation keeps efficiency constant. The great competition leads to states of burn out situations of the working and to a great variety of the supply, so there is a demand for further motivation and attraction resources (“money is not enough when we make money and a product is something more than a product”). Passion here is demanded, as its motivation is independent of external factors. But efficiency presumes control, and controlled passion is not passion any more (maybe enthusiasm would suit here better), and on the other hand, passionate people are hard to control or to cooperate with.

Second, all people want to experience or to watch other people experience strong feelings, especially in times and places where they can live an ordinary life (without wars, deceases, poverty, etc, i.e. when they do not have serious problems). An ordinary life can be extremely boring, so passion is in high demand (as an illusion as well).

But passion cannot be hidden or ordered. It does not accept rules, for it is the rule itself. The excessive supply and demand of ‘passion’ leads to unreliability and final exclusion of it (as every excessive use).

10 Responses to “Passion in the market and job market”

  1. Harti Law says:

    Discerning among passion, motivation, and incentive is a very interesting theme in your essay and it is put, I must say, brilliantly. Wouldn’t you agree that, for one reason or another, a client would rather have a passionate company, attorney, doctor, etc. to serve them, rather than a motivated one?

  2. a_droseltis says:

    Thank you for your comment (and the flattering notice!).

    As you put the question, I ought to answer “yes” (considering that “motivated” is meant in your comment as “not passionate”, which is actually not true: passion implies motivation; the reverse does not always hold). And _this_ is the reason, for which “passion” sells so good.

    But is this the… “right question”? :) What I personally expect from a professional is not passion, but reliability and responsibility. If she is passionate too, this is good for her.

    Here the following question emerges: How can I know that inside a professional exists a passion about her profession? From my experience, passionate people do not present themselves as such, they just do it.

    This situation has generally to do with things that can attract clients, but become untrustworthy if they are announced or used in masses. E.g. the term “traditional food”. Some decades ago, you could visit a Greek island and eat food, that was not sold as “traditional”, but it really was. Now every restaurant on the islands claims to sell “traditional food”. The latter is nowhere to be found, except in private houses and recipe collections.

  3. Ulixes Lactanis says:

    Maybe it is too difficult for people to remember or compare companies or brands based on technical details, and very easy to do it based on emotions. Sometimes “product A is good” or “company B is passionate” is just short for the accumulated experience of the consumer and his friends, which may actually be based on the true value of the product or the company. Sometimes, well, it may just be a completely unjustified emotional preference because the buyer’s instinct fell for the marketing.

    And about Mr Law’s comment, I think that when two products or services look (or indeed are) completely identical, one relies on emotional criteria.

    A related term is products made “with love”, or, more accurately, “with luuuv”. Which reminds me to comment that your site looks like it is made with love!

  4. Maestro says:

    But in music should always be passion, you think so too? Very important conductors, like Bernstein, were very passionate!

  5. a_droseltis says:

    @Ulixes Lactanis

    I agree and I comment that passion as shortcut is certainly not what is claims to be.

    [thanks for the nice comment about the site: it is true!]

    @Maestro

    In every field of human activity there were passionate people. But the contrary holds too. I believe that all great women and men had a passion about their field: their devotion and the pleasure they found in it argues for this.

    Concerning the example of Bernstein, I would be more careful about what is and what seems to be passionate. There are many artists, that give a whole performance simultaneously with their conducting or instrument playing, but this has not to do with their passion directly, but with their tendency to express their feelings through their body (or to be more popular). Others may conduct or play an instrument like robots, but _this_ does not make them less passionate.

  6. Maestro says:

    If you listen to Bernstein, and not see him when he conducts, don’t you think he is passionate? Even though in several interpretations of Mozart his passion might be inappropriate.

  7. a_droseltis says:

    @Maestro

    Now I think that I understand you better. You do not mean Bernstein’s passion about music, but the passion _in_ his work, in his style. I think that you mean the passion that is implied by sudden or great contrasts in sound volume, rhythmic deviations etc. If you mean this, I will agree with you.

  8. Latin_Nerd says:

    Sometimes I think passion blocks professional development. A passionated – say musician – will take a professional drawback deeply seriously, while a cool minded competent and not passionated fellow just concentrates on the problem to solve it. Perhaps taking professional matters personally and being high sensitive to them is not always healthy.

  9. a_droseltis says:

    @Latin_Nerd

    I would say that being cool minded is good for the professional strategy whereas
    being passionate enhances the professional competence.

  10. Maestro says:

    Latin_Nerd has a point. If you go too far in personal involvement in the job, you will lose very much.