Remember that feeling you had when you were a post-secondary student? You know, the ambitious, I can solve a world problem. Participated in everything. Took advantage of every opportunity. Never slept because you were on a mission.
It’s motivating to be around students who light up as they tell you about their plans. What they are up to. It is perhaps one of the best things about working in a university.
My former boss, whom I respected and admired greatly for his leadership and mentorship, said during his Convocation address, “CVs and resumes get the applicants into the interview room. But the winners are those with the passion in their voice that displays, not only competence, but the commitment and energy you want on your team.”
He then goes on to say, “Unfortunately, and ironically, those lights sometimes dim over the years of schooling and training. Be aware of this, and if at all possible work at what you enjoy doing.”
Unfortunately this doesn’t just apply to students. Rather it extends to people at all stages of their career. Once the light goes out, it’s time to move on. Benefits, pay cheques, vacations, pensions, job security are all nice. But so is having a passion for what you do.