Passion Vs Dedication


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.

Your perspective on passion vs dedication at work really changes when you have a child. How do you balance dedication to work vs. your passion for family?

6 thoughts on “Passion Vs Dedication

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well said Tela – it echoes what so many of us feel!

    Raising the next generation is the most important work we can do – well placed passion if you ask me!

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. In retrospect I don’t think I was ever passionate about work they way I am about my daughter. I think “passion” to describe a job is a misuse of the term.

  3. Excellent post. I’ve very much thought the same thing since returning to work.

    I agree with amybow. I was passionate about my job, but not even in the same realm as I feel towards my son. I would do anything for him. My job? Not so much.

  4. I totally agree with you. I worked full-time before Gracelynn was born, and went back full-time after 13 weeks of maternity leave. I am still doing the same job for the same company, and while I am dedicated there is no passion. Like you, I would much rather be at home with my little girl than to be at work logging extra hours. The extra money might be nice, but that is no longer the most important part of my life. My daughter is.

  5. I wonder how you could even manage to be passionate about both really.

    After reading it, I wondered if men ever sit around and discuss such a topic. Do men lose that passion? Are they even allowed to? Just questions that popped into my head.

    Maybe I’ve never been career-driven enough, it was so easy to let go of what little passion I might have had after my daughter came along LOL.

  6. I’m so glad other’s agree! I hate how the two are so easily confused–and I hate the fact that I feel I need to give 150% (not the normal 100% to get ahead or get promoted).

    I’m not entirely sure those two are related, but I think they might be.

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