Keeping your passion alive in large organizations

Yesterday, I had drinks with my friend Konstantin at KF13 – he’s a freelance designer.  Juxtapose this with me — I work at a large media company where I help develop social media strategies and online presences.  Cool job right? I think so! For those of you, like me, who work in a large corporation, what makes us so envious of small businesses and freelancers? Is it the flex hours? Is it the freedom? Is it aura of seeming unlimited success and potential?

Do you like your job? Do you love it? What about your company and coworkers?

What it boils down to is passion.  The store owner and the freelancer have a passion for what they do and sell.  As an employee, in no way does that mean that you’re not entitled to this! Sure you can argue that since school we have been pressured to stop being curious, but no one said you had do listened to the teacher.

I’m really happy to be doing what I am and the company I do it for is great – they give me a lot of freedom.

The freelance way is not for everyone, so take a look at what you do — do you like it or don’t you?  If you don’t, can you incorporate your passion or can you develop it to ultimately only work on that?  If you do, then what could you do to make it better?  If you can’t answer that, try recording yourself like in an interview and ask basic questions – why do I work here? What do I bring to the table and what have I accomplished? Who do I look up to? Where do I see myself in the future? How can I contribute more?

4 things you could do right now to re-ignite the passion in you:

  1. The Steve Jobs thing – In his Stanford Commencement Address a few years back, Steve Jobs explains how, each morning he asks himself “if this were the last thing I did, would I still do it?” If the answer is “no” too many days in a row, it’s time for a change.  Is it time for change in your life?
  2. Think about what makes you happy – a good book, time with loved ones, a certain industry, being on the road.  How can you integrate that in your life?
  3. Work-back schedule – where do you want to be 5 years from now?  How do you get there?
  4. Just do it! Don’t wait for people to OK what you want to do, just go for it!

Think about it, most companies these days are pretty open and are willing to work with employees to help them be more productive — sit down with your boss and look at flex hours or even working from home once in a while.  If that will increase your productivity, they’ll be more often than not very happy to work with you.

What are you doing to ignite your passion?

Photo credit: MOHSEN MaSoUmI

  • Huge

    Personally, a big factor that draws me towards entrepreneurship is twofolds.First, the creative aspect: you create something, you build something, you develop something and bring it to others. In a big company, the company already has something it makes, it usually had their creation from before you were there and they will certainly be ok and continue on with their creation after you’re gone. Second, the fairer division of the spoils (loot), or fruit of your labor (depending on how you want to see it): in a big company, there is tons of overhead, and you’re usually not the source of the product, so why would you get the big share of the profit? You don’t. I work as an engineer, designing products that sell for millions or servicing clients that pay over 100$ per hour. I don’t get anywhere near that amount of money in pocket at the end of the day.The attraction of your own thing can be distilled in one term: freedom (like you said). Freedom to create and freedom to profit from your creations.True, corporations try to accommodate employees more and more. But there are limits to this freedom, and they are usually bigger than we think (or are led to believe)

  • Fabrice Calando

    Those are some interesting points…1. Can you bring something new to the table? It’s not because something already exists that you can’t refine it or change it for better.2. That’s true, you don’t, but I’ve already had a large company offer me commission for new projects I bring in, even if I’m not in sales. Everything is negotiable.I wasn’t trying to say you have to stay at a large company and entrepreneurship is great too. I’m just saying, don’t let yourself be bogged down by existing processes…you make your own game…