Passion vs Craftsman mentality

Recently I re-read the book “So good they can’t ignore you. Why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.”

I am changing jobs and recently I’ve been feeling guilty of not staying in this current job longer. Though I have laid out my reasons in earlier blog posts but I can’t help feeling my career profile resembles that of a job hopper. There were several reasons why I changed job over the years, but deep down I really want to stay in a job for long. (my family probably will roll their eyes because that is my constant refrain) 

So I find myself re-reading the book and reminding myself along the way that my craftsmen mindset is not what the job can offer me but what value I can offer to the world. This is in stark contrast to 2 years ago where I was still living a life blindsided by social media on finding my dream job and following my passion. However along the way, I come to realize accumulating career capital (I.e rare and valuable skills) is vital, thereby becoming good at what you do and so good that others can’t ignore you.

Reading some parts of the book made me realize that having too much autonomy without career capital is disastrous. In the early part of my blog, I detailed my journey on switching to a fashion career without accumulating any career capital. Thus I subsequently did not have enough money to sustain my lifestyle and impending housing loan and I had to go back to sales in the IT industry. At least it beats starting a business and ending up in debt.

However, this journey also allowed me to learn more about myself and redefine my career goals and direction. I set a target to build up my sewing skills. I still have not decided if I will ever go back to making it as a career, but I do know I want to be better and more skilled in making clothes. The upcoming competition allowed me to be uncomfortable and stretch my skills and hone the craft which is good.

I also learnt that sales is something I really enjoyed doing and being better at it since I have accumulated experience of 10 years. (albeit not staying at a company for longer than 2 years). Reading the book did cause me to reflect a lot, what value do I bring to the job?

And as there’s a change in company direction in my current company, it resulted in me not being able to accumulate the career capital that I will like to have.  At the same time, I was approached by a HR and had a job offer with a company that seemed like what I want to do, thus after many rounds of discussion with my boss, I decided to leave the company.  At the end of the day, I still want to work for a company that I can grow with and accumulate career capital.

If you ask me why I sound so vague about the new job, it’s because I have yet to start and one never know until one gets there right? Still I will make a list of career goals and list out what I can bring to the job.

Till then, be happy developing the craftsmen mindset to hone your skills and find the job you can be good at, who know? It may just turn out to be your dream job! 


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