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Finding Passion in Your Job Versus Following a Passion

Manage Your Team, Manage Your Career Series

Shawn Blog Post-1

By Shawn Geegbae

I’m Shawn, a professional Recruiter and avid reader. Two years ago, I set a challenge for myself – to complete the 52-book challenge. The goal: to read 52 books in 52 weeks, and I’ve done it now for two consecutive years. My desire to participate in this scholastic endeavor was plain and simple: to become more creative, better informed, and inspired. Here’s my book of the month - a tremendous resource for managers, regardless of industry.

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If you’re looking to start or create a remarkable professional career then January’s Book of the Month, So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport is a must read. 

Are you frustrated by your current job situation? Then this book is for you. We’ve heard it our entire lives and we even preach it to our friends, family, and colleagues: the conventional wisdom on career success — follow your passion. The passion hypothesis is the idea that occupational happiness comes from figuring out what you’re passionate about and then finding a job that matches that passion. It seems like a great theory, and I am sure one many live by, but Cal Newport, author of, So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, tested this theory and discovered that passion comes after you put in the hard work, regardless of the job. 

Newport argues that “passionate” employees are not those who have followed their passion, but instead those who have become good at what they do developing passion for their jobs. He states, “You need to be good at something before you can expect a good job.”  

So, instead of looking for a job that matches your passion, Mr. Newport advocates the application of a craftsman mindset. The craftsman mindset encourages you to leave behind concerns about “finding your passion” and instead focus on producing valuable work and getting good at your job. As you master your craft/your job, you create passion for it and when you become really good at something, your interest in that area grows. 

People who follow the passion hypothesis tend to focus on the value their work/job can provide to them instead of asking themselves, “What value can I bring to my work/job?” No matter what field or industry you are in, success lies in competence and quality. 

If you are frustrated by your current job situation, assess how you can get better at your job and perhaps then you will find passion in that work. Read the book for some fresh ideas and please let me know what your greatest takeaways were. I am looking for my next book to read, so if you have any recommendations for great books focused on management, team building, and/or personal development, send them my way.

Here’s a link to purchase the book. Neither I nor my company are affiliated with the author or make any financial gain from promoting this book. Just a truly great read!


Shawn Headshot-croppedsmallerShawn Geegbae is a Recruiting Manager for Cordia Resources based out of the Tyson's office. He is focused on full-cycle recruiting through sourcing, qualifying, and building long-term relationships with job seekers  in the Washington, DC area to help them meet their career goals. Prior to Cordia Resources, Shawn worked as the Business Development Manager for a financial literacy startup in Los Angeles, CA. Through sports, Shawn and his organization taught middle school and high school students financial concepts in a more interesting, relatable, and applicable way.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Finance, Shawn spent several years on Wall Street as a commodity broker. Shawn enjoys reading and writing, as well as being an avid sports fan. Questions? Comments? Email Shawn at sgeegbae@cordiaresources.com

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