Passion For Work
I’ve always loved language. When I first got into the HEC Paris MBA program, I was ecstatic. Now was my chance to learn French!
I bought Rosetta Stone, and sat down learning for two months nonstop before I got shipped out to France.
My French was still beginner-level at that time, but I didn’t care. I schmoozed my way around the Parisian streets. Chatting up as many people as I could in my broken American accent.
I would try to order food at the restaurants in French. I’d try to ask for directions in French. I’d try to get to know more locals and all that.
It was wonderful. Going to Paris opened up a whole new world for me, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Especially the foreign language part.
When I was doing the second year of my MBA in Beijing, I would use the weekends to brush up on my Mandarin. I’d hole up at the local coffee shop and buy some language books on my own to study.
At the shop, I’d work consistently for two to three hours each day on the weekends, and I would notice tremendous improvements in my Chinese within weeks.
There was a point in time, when I wanted to become a full-on translator as a career. Maybe for the United Nations or something like that. After all, I enjoyed language.
Whenever people talked about a foreign language, my eyes would light up. It got to the point where I felt like language was my passion. If I were to work in the field of linguistics, I would never need to work another day of my life!
So, I researched around trying to find tips and advice on how to be an interpreter or a translator. And the more I researched, the more I realized that the language field is not what it is cut out to be.
Even though I may be passionate about language and love to learn language for fun, it may not be the best career move for me. There were lots of barriers that comes with switching careers that I didn’t feel motivated enough to take on.
Actions speak louder than words. And even though my words told me that I was passionate about language, I never made a significant move in that realm.
I was working in the family business in the field of international trade. Much less sexy sounding than learning French, I’d have to admit.
Am I passionate about international trade? I don’t know. Probably not. But for some reason, I still thoroughly enjoy working in the family business. For the most part.
There are good and bad days of course, but I saw the value in working in a small business - where the sky’s the limit in terms of growth.
So, even though I still find language to be amazing and would love to just learn language for fun when I have the time, I realize that it might not be the best career move for me.
There’s all this talk about pursuing your passion. How doing that will make your life that much more fulfilling and worth living. It’s a common thread that people here in the USA like to say.
I still love learning new languages. But, I’ve come to realize that my actions don’t follow my thoughts. I’ve never proactively done much to ensure myself that I would become a professional translator.
I just thought about it and talked about it, and it sounded cool in my head. But, I never really put my thought into true action. So, sometimes, I question my true passion in language. How passionate am I really in this field? Probably not as much as I initially thought.
If you want to pursue your passion, go for it. But, there’s a chance that it’s not necessary to do that to live a fulfilling life.
Your life can be just as meaningful if you work in a regular field that you are simply okay with. It’s okay if you’re not full-on passionate about the job you are currently holding.
Most people are not. But, they still find a way to get by contently. There’s always a chance that you can generate passion within your existing job - rather than finding passion elsewhere. And that’s just as good.
We all like to believe in passion, happiness, and love. But, sometimes, our experiences don’t necessarily follow our thoughts.
Pursuing your passion is just another thought. It comes and goes. And it’s okay if you don’t find that supposed career that will “light your fire” so to speak.
Passion and work don’t need to go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, it’s okay to be satisfied with the initial cards that you are dealt with and working from there.
When I eventually retire, my ideal life would be to just sit around and learn languages all day and all night. Your interest doesn’t have to be a full-on career, it can just be something simple to enjoy at leisure.
Sometimes, it’s better that way.