A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about some work resolutions everyone should take on in 2015, one of which is “find your passion.” The word “passion” gets a bad rap. It is said to be overused in in the workplace. I get it – so instead of talking more about passion, I thought I’d share an example of how one person applied passion in their job successfully.
I talked to my friend and colleague Nicole McCabe, Senior Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion at SAP. A few years ago, Nicole made a major career shift from Marketing Strategy to our Human Resources Diversity and Inclusion team, based on her passion for the topic.
I had always been raised to believe I could do anything, gender was never a topic of discussion – it was always the goal that you wanted to achieve. Once I entered the workforce, I was shocked at some of the situations I was placed in but I brushed it off as the norm.
Once I had my daughters, I started to pay closer attention to the research that was being published on gender inequality and girls in STEM. It clicked that there was no reason that they needed to work twice as hard, or that they had limitations placed on them by society – I truly believe they can do anything, and as a mother, it is my job to make sure I enable them in every way possible.
How did you translate this passion to your work?
I had been looking to make a change and was at a point in my life where I yearned to have impact in any way possible. I was fortunate that I had a lot of sponsors and two came forward when my current job as posted. I was hesitant at first, shifting career direction from Marketing to Human Resources was risky – I had built a strong network and a solid reputation within my current team. But I knew in my heart that this was the opportunity to bring together my skills and passion.
How has taking this risk helped you?
Taking this risk has helped me grow. Here are a few examples -
- I was able to get an appreciation for the “People” part of business strategy. How we manage, develop and deploy talent – I have learned this overall process in the past two years.
- It grew my network – I had to rebuild my network and my reputation in a new team but that has been a blessing for me.
- It helped me become stronger at strategizing and understanding all the links within a business – the implications a decision makes in one area, has consequences in others. Often, HR is looked at as an afterthought, but the reality is that the best leaders I have read about, are those that fully appreciate the role and have HR fully integrated in business planning.
- It helped me is find what I enjoy most and greatly improved my personal satisfaction. To be able to create programs that drive impact, impact that is shared with me in e-mails, or blog posts, I truly feel like I am contributing to changing the future, maybe not on a massive scale, but the parts that I can control. I believe every bit helps in making the wold a better place, no matter how big or small.
What do you think? Can you take the first step to job satisfaction?
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