Episode 92: Having Passion For Your Work is Overrated

MichaelI/O Psychology3 Comments

Everyone tells you that you should have “passion for your work”. Personally, I think that’s a bunch of malarky, balderdash and hooey. And much of it could be the fault of psychologists who have studied job satisfaction. You might actually enjoy work that you never dreamed could make you happy. In this episode I talk about what Mike Rowe of the show Dirty Jobs had to say about work and how that ties into the research of psychologist Dan Gilbert author of Stumbling on Happiness.


Just because things hadn’t gone the way I planned didn’t necessarily mean they had gone wrong…the secret is finding the balance between going out to get what you want and being open to the thing that actually winds up coming your way. – Ann Patchett in her book What now?

Resources For This Episode

  • Screw Finding Your Passion
  • Mike Rowe the host of Dirty Jobs, talks about the war on work in this video from his Ted Talks speech:
  • Dan Gilbert explains his ideas regarding how we all synthesize happiness in this video:
  • Here is a really interesting talk by Alain de Botton about factors that affect job satisfaction:
  • Job Characteristics Model (developed by Hackman and Oldham) states that an improvement in 5 aspects of a job can increase motivation and job satisfaction. They are:
    • Variety
    • Identity
    • Significance
    • Feedback
    • Autonomy

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3 Comments on “Episode 92: Having Passion For Your Work is Overrated”

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  2. Sir,

    I will be sharing this with my friends on Facebook. I think that my fellow military brothers and sisters would enjoy hearing this. 🙂

    v/r,
    Sarah R.

  3. The main problem for a lot of our young adults seeking satisfying work is that entry-level jobs are being phased out by automation. Take for example Wal-Mart. They introduced self-checkout services a just a couple years ago. Now, anyone working at a mom and pop grocery store can’t help but feel like they’re essentially doing the work of a robot. Cue the existential crisis that is bound arise when someone realizes they’re essentially a human acting as a robot.

    You might say: “They need to get better jobs.” Well, automation will phase inevitably phase out all sorts of jobs, ya know, not just cashiers. Computer programs trade mutual funds just as easily as they can scan barcodes. I think this personal problem of “finding work that you love” will grow into a societal problem as the number of people becomes greater than the number of jobs available.

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