Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Follow Your Passion – and Then Build on That Passion

Whenever I talk to young people about applying to college or internships, I encourage them to follow their passion – something they truly love doing or learning. I urge them not to be concerned at this early stage of their path through life as to how they will be able to earn a living from their passion.

Thus I was pleasantly surprised to meet a young woman who has an unusual career. She’s a personal chef with a twist: she goes into different people’s homes and prepares a week of meals for the family and freezes the meals. She brings the ingredients for the meals with her, and she takes into consideration the food preferences of the family.

For example, on Monday she cooks several meals at one person’s house, and on Tuesday she moves on to the next client’s house. It’s a great business for her!

I asked her how she got into this career. She said that she always liked to cook. Then I asked how she got her first client. Her reply was through her church – a family that had special food needs and whom she thought she could help.

This is such a good example of following one’s passion and seeing where it leads. And you never know what spark can ignite someone.

I, for one, applied to graduate business school on a “dare” from my younger sister. I had been talking about a friend attending graduate business school, and my sister said to me, “The reason you’re mad at her is you think you could do it better.” And I replied, “You’re right – I can.”

Of course, I had an interest in business as our father had his own CPA practice and we spent dinners discussing his clients. But once I decided to apply, I had to undertake a marketing campaign to get accepted at Wharton because at that point I didn’t have enough going for me to make me an interesting candidate unless I improved my resume. And I set off to do just that – starting with taking pre-calculus at the college level. (I was 29 and hadn’t had math since junior year of high school.)

Having a passion is only a starting point. Then you have to go on to build on that passion. But what you do to build on the passion can be very enjoyable (unless it’s pre-calculus).

If you have any personal stories of unusual careers or unusual sparks for a career, share them here by leaving a comment.

personal chef, jobs,
internships, careers

No comments: