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Bringing (vs. Following) Your Passion


By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

A fan questioned Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” on why he said that “follow your passion” was the worst advice he’d ever received. A snippet of Rowe’s response follows:

“… I would never advise anyone to ‘follow their passion’ until I understand who they are, what they want, and why they want it. Even then, I’d be cautious. Passion is too important to be without, but too fickle to be guided by. Which is why I’m more inclined to say, ‘Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.'”

The distinction between “bringing” versus “following” your passion is striking. Some long-term careerists feel the “passion” ship has sailed. Other early careerists may be unclear how to convert passion into paying their bills. So, following something as nebulous as “passion” can be daunting and perhaps, if followed blindly, even damaging to your career and financial future.

However, conveying passion in whatever job you are doing can be cultivating, at any stage of your career, and even, may lead you to achieve your eventual passion goals.

Following are three things you can start doing today to bring passion with you to work:

 1. Impassion your conversations.

Whether connecting with the colleague cubicled next to you, having a tête-à-tête with your supervisor, or dialing up your customer, bring it! Sit up straight, curl up the corners of your lips (even if you have to initially ‘fake it’), take a deep breath and exude a positive tone and energy, including voice inflection and personality!

It is amazing what one energized vibe being transported over the airwaves to another person, whose mood may need the jumpstart, can do to generate a rolling energy burst! And remember the adage, what you give, you get? While you may initially feel disingenuous in your positivity, a sudden shift likely will occur as the energy you pushed out surges back into your sphere, back to you!

To read 2 more steps to bring your passion to work, visit: “3 Steps to Bring Passion With You to Work.”


Avoid These Behaviors if You Are Smack Dab in the Midst of Job Search

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Searching for a job is wrought with misleading ideas. You may go years without conducting a job search, and then all of a sudden, you are smack dab in the middle of the job search desert, wondering which way to turn! Mirages create false hope, and you become weary in the search for sustenance. However, do not give up. A better understanding of the realities and possibilities during your job search can bolster results!

Here are three misconceptions about job searches and how to reframe beliefs and behaviors to move ahead in your hunt:

1. You can quit, be fired or laid off from your job and have a new job quickly, in the time frame you desire.

While you generally can find a job in somewhat short order, replacing your last job with a new, equitable position often takes weeks or months. Sometimes, replacing the compensation, benefits and responsibilities of your last job can take years. It can be a progression!

While job search from that perspective may sound depressing, don’t despair. The journey can be both enriching and growth-focused, and in the midst of the journey, you often step on stones that create new, unplanned traction toward your ultimate goals. Many people get stuck in a stagnant or bad role or a toxic environment. However, untethered from a languishing situation, the opportunities to seek out your next career phase mount.

To read the other two misconceptions about job searches and how to avoid them, visit “3 Job Search Misconceptions to Avoid.”

How To Heal a Toxic Work Situation

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Toxic work environments are real and more commonplace than I care to say – I hear about them often in my line of work.

People aren’t always wanting to simply move on to a higher level or more highly compensated role; they often just want OUT of their acidic environments led by uproarious bosses who say things like, “You all are replaceable,” and refer to their staff as “cattle” (true story).

Thankfully, after completing her resume and LinkedIn profile earlier this year, a client in just such an environment emailed me this weekend to say she accepted a NEW job with a great, Fortune 500 company (she researched them well) and at her target role.

So, all of you out there stuck in the muck of a bad job — there is hope, but as with “luck,” to enable hope often requires your preparedness to intersect with opportunity!

In the meantime, to help sooth your weary soul while navigating a soul-sucking environment, I offer five actionable tips you can employ.

1. Take time off.

2. Imbibe in the sun.

3. Seek outside help.

4. Stop all the self-sacrifice.

5. Exercise.

[Read the full explanations behind each tip at my recent Glassdoor blog post: 5 Tips to Clean Up a Toxic Work Situation.]


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