Applying to jobs you’re not passionate about?

23 Aug

As soon as sat down, I received several questions about my expectations of the job as well as my career goals. I did my best to explain my history and interests as they relate to corporate communications and brand promotion. When I did not answer the questions as he expected, my interviewer ultimately brought up my recent post for Hire Education, which he had read earlier that morning. He pointed out that according to my last post, my passion was music, which had absolutely nothing to do with the biomedical industry.

First read the comments responding to Sabine Francois’ article about how she didn’t get the job because her biomedical interviewer looked up a passionate blog post Sabine wrote about wanting to work in the music industry. The comments blame in the interviewer for inappropriate use of Sabine’s blog post against her. I say, hogwash.

What if Sabine was interviewing for a music industry job and not a biomedical position? Can you imagine how powerful it would be if an employer already could feel your passion for the work you want to do from a blog post they read before the interview. Sabine’s post on the music is amazing. She writes, “So while leaving that event, I reflected on how amazing it would be if I could do things like that [music] as a full-time career instead of simply being an onlooker. I was reminded in that moment of why I cannot settle for a career field that is near entertainment or kind of music-related. There is no substitute for the way that you feel when you are completely in your element, doing the kind of work that you are deeply passionate about and that truly ignites your work ethic from within.” In many respects, I don’t blame the interviewer for bringing it up.

Why then did she agree to an interview for a biomedical firm? She says, “I am not one to turn down an interview since I believe it is important to stay open to opportunities.” And that my friends, speaks volumes to how we as liberal artists approach the job search. We have skills that are widely applicable, and we don’t always follow the direct line to our declared passion. So on one hand, I want to chastise Sabine for even allowing herself to proceed with a interview for a biomedical position. On the other, she’s being a liberal artist and thinking broadly about what unique and interesting challenges might be had out there.

I still believe in regular blogging as a way to demonstrate your passion and get a job by developing an expertise. If Sabine were applying to a music promotion company, my guess is a post on her music passion would go a long way to getting her that job. And don’t hesitate to give your interviewer your blog address to show them that you’re passionate in that field. But liberal artists also have to be able to broaden their passion and skill set, so you can get a job that’s not directly related to your declared passion. What the essence of what you want in a job that transcends a specific field? For me it’s about using creativity to solve important and interesting challenges for people-centric communities.


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