By Rick Christensen, Director, Career Transition Practice at Career Development Partners

We do what we do because we’ve always done what we did.

I knew there had to be a better way.  After 20 or so years as a human resources professional and interviewing thousands of individuals for positions as diverse as shop floor helpers to CEO’s, I knew that very few of them had any idea about what the interview was all about.  They talked about technical things they could do (don’t get me wrong, candidates need the basic technical skills to perform) but, what I was looking for was “Is this person going to fit with our culture?”  “Are they XYZ Corp people?”

The candidates were so focused on selling themselves that they didn’t think about if this job and culture were a good fit for them.  All they wanted was a job.  Why did they want this job – to pay the bills.  They didn’t have any passion for the work they just came in to do what was necessary.

When it came time for us to select one of them, what difference did it make.  They all could do the work, so that wasn’t an issue.  The issue, in the long run was can we spend 8, 9, 10 or more hours every day with this person without turmoil.

For the past 22 years I have been a career coach, most of that time in outplacement companies.  I have met with thousands of individuals, many of them on what was to that point one of the worst days in their careers.

My mission for those years has been to unleash the power and passion that every person has to do something great.  Not everyone saw the light, they were accountants, barbers, engineers, managers or whatever and they continued doing that because it was easy and safe, even though they had no passion for it.

Others took the opportunity they were given and have achieved greatness.  Not in the sense that greatness is becoming President of The United States or Nobel Prize Winner, but greatness in the sense that they are not merely accountants, barbers, engineers or managers, they are Accountants!, Barbers!, Engineers! and Managers!

They understand the nobility and value in each of their professions, they know that the world cannot function with them.  They go into the world with renewed energy, with a sense of purpose knowing they will make a difference in the world because of what they do.

Sometimes understanding their passion leads them in a completely different direction.  They give up what they have always done and do something very different.  They do what their passion dictates.  They may have a lower income because of the change in direction, but the joy they have in living their dream is priceless.

I have the greatest job in the world.  I get to be part of a person’s life and witness their success.  I don’t take credit for their success, but I see it every day.  I can’t wait until tomorrow, so I can do it all over again.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Rick Christensen

Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

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