Kevin Salwen on Passionate Work
On CNN this weekend, Jack Cafferty asked me about his 24-year-old daughter. Echoing a point we often hear from frustrated parents, he grumbled that she wants to be a big-time practitioner of international law, jetting around the world. But, Cafferty continued, she wants to do that NOW, without paying her dues, without doing the hard work it takes. His annoyance was clear.
His core question, of course, is a great one: Don't people have to sacrifice any more? Is it all that easy for this soft generation? Can they have their cake, eat it too -- and then add a dollop of ice cream for good measure?
Needless to say, that's an easy perception to have when you stop by this site or read Worthwhile magazine -- after all, we love to preach career passion. You need to love what you do; you'll be better at your work if you bring your soul to it. Eventually, we contend, you'll make more money because that passion will shine through and make you a better employee or business owner.
But never paying dues? I don't think so. In fact, I don't think the elements of sacrifice have changed all that much. Cafferty's daughter can't be an international jet-setting lawyer until she gets a major set of credentials in that arena or a parallel one. People who want to launch a business selling, say, environmentally-correct lawn furniture had better be able to raise enough capital, build a smart business model, manage their books, understand product sourcing, etc.
In short, dues are here to stay. The question, I think, is how to shorten the cycle and how to set longer-term goals. Am I right? Thoughts on this one?