Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Passion: the one intangible you need

Most people in this world have jobs.

We don't. We have careers. There's a big difference.

If you have a job you can phone it in from time to time. If you have a career you have too much pride to do so.

Several years ago I had the privilege of working with a photog on his last day before he got out of the business. We were doing a story in one location; it was obvious he wouldn't have to move much for this piece. Kiddingly, I said, "Since it's your last day, you ought to shoot the entire package without moving the camera. I'll bring people to you for sound bites, and you can just swing around and get different angles for b-roll."

We thought it was a fun idea. He locked his camera onto the tripod and started swinging it around, getting different shots. Finally, he shrugged and shouldered his camera. "Can't do it," he said.

He didn't mean it was impossible. He meant his passion for the business wouldn't allow him to phone it in, even on his last day.

Call it passion, or pride in your work, or whatever. It's what runs through the veins of the most successful people in this business.

And if you don't ever feel it, get out. Now. Because you're born with it. You either have it or you don't. You don't develop it over time. It's in your blood, down to your DNA.

Many people think they get it out of their system and leave the business, only to come back.

Passion is like marriage; it's not about finding someone you can live with, it's about finding someone you can't live without.

Same goes for this career.

Many young people contact me, telling me they're confused after a few years in the business. They don't know whether to stick or bail out.

So here's the answer. If you can't live without it, that should tell you you're meant to do this.


1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

Had a bad run at a former shop. Quit with no job lined up. Really thought of leaving the business. Sat out two days and realized I still had a few stories left in me.

Less than a week from the day I quit, I was working in TV again. Best attitude adjustment ever.