Sunday, 3 January 2016

Work passion balance : What does it mean?

People often talk about work life balance. I think this is a great thing and very important but I often also like to consider work passion balance. This is the balance between things that you do for employment and things that you are passionate about, but are not necessarily the same as your day job. I find that this balance is equally as important to keeping yourself comfortable as your creativity is often fed more strongly by passions. I believe there is also a valid balance to be sought between work, passion, family and recreation/relaxation. This gives a sort of 5 way balancing act that the original "work life balance" doesn't really adequately address. Its also the reason that I think so many people end up in a mess. They think that because they can get a basic 50/50 work to "everything else" ratio they will be okay. Personally this doesn't work for me. I have a lot more things going on that I need to address on a daily basis.

The difference between work and passion for me boils down to money, but in a subtly different way to what I guess most people see money as in relation themselves. I work hard in both pursuits and to the naked eye it would look like both are really just work. The difference is that work is something that someone pays me for but my passions are things i'd pay to do. This is significant because in this way money affects my motivations. If I wasn't being paid, I wouldn't go to work. The lack of any monetary incentive in my passion, however, is not discouraging. This isn't to say you can't have both but I don't think its as simple as monetising your passions and expecting it all to fall into place.

I think that people who manage to create a situation where their passion becomes their employment have to be very careful to keep the money side of things away from the general creative process. Its also one of the reasons that I don't believe you can buy truly creative people into an organisation and have it work. You have to provide people something else or it just won't work for them.

As an aside I also believe this is one of the reasons that having vastly different salaries between people who work in the same organisation, with relatively similar jobs, doesn't work. The minute you start defining success and progression as £ signs you remove focus from what's important. You also start artificially creating hierarchies and reinforcing rules that might not be appropriate. If you pay everyone roughly the same and find other, more effective, ways to incentivise your staff you stand a better chance of having a successful organisation.

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