I recently had lunch with a former colleague of mine (a very intelligent, beautiful, all-around-great former colleague). She’s a working mom with children in their pre-teen and teen years, and I look up to her. During our lunch conversation, we discussed the concepts of “passion” and “dedication” when it comes to our careers.
The conversation was very enlightening to me, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Actually, every conversation we have is englightening—but this dicussion stuck with me. It made me really think. So I felt the need to share my thoughts on the whole passion vs dedication thing.
I’m dedicated to my job. Very dedicated. I want to do a good job. I won’t settle for anything else. I hate the feeling I get if I make a stupid mistake or let a co-worker down. I’ll work long hours if need be—not always with a smile on my face (who does?)—but I do it. Why? Because I want to do a good job. And I don’t want to let anyone down.
But I’m not passionate about my job. Not anymore. Any passion for a “job” faded fast once I had O. Now I’m passionate about one thing, and one thing only—my son. Before I had O, my job was a big part of my life—I’d be the first one to raise my hand for new business pitches (even if it meant weekend work), I’d work late into the evening without a second thought, I’d work weekends if needed.
Now, not so much. I’m passionate about spending that precious time with my son. Not my co-workers, my boss, or my computer. It doesn’t mean I won’t do these things if they are asked of me—I will—but I’m not going to be happy about it. I won’t bitch and moan, but I won’t thank anyone either.
This doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated to my job, because I am. And I’m good at it. I shouldn’t be penalized because my son comes first. I think anyone’s family should come first—job second. I can’t imagine anyone facing death’s door and looking back at life wishing they logged more hours at the office. I sure as hell won’t be, as long as I can help it.