Career Development

The One Sign You Really Are Passionate About Your Job

Enthusiasm vs. Passion

When I conduct interview training with students, they often tell me they are passionate and that it makes them different than other candidates because of how much they love the products they want to make or the job they want to do.  This is not passion; it is merely enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is great but what is passion and how does one demonstrate it?  A few months ago, I held an event in which college students got to ask questions to a panel of four employers at four well-established companies.  Two of the panelists were CEO’s, one was a Lead Programmer for a game studio, and the other was an Executive Producer for Sony Computer Entertainment.  I decided to ask the panelists at this event how they recognized passion in a candidate because I wanted students to hear, directly from the source,  what truly differentiated those who claimed to have passion and those who actually had it.

The One Sign You Are Truly Passionate

I’m going to share with you the best, most concise, simplest, and most insightful answer I have ever heard and it came from Robert Nelson, CEO of Broken Bulb Studios, a company that makes Facebook games based in Scottsdale, AZ.  Robert said, “Passionate people do what they are passionate about on their own time.”  It is so simple, easy to understand, and so true.  Liking something enough to study it in school is merely interest.  Being slightly more excited about what you’re studying in school is merely enthusiasm, but when you are passionate about something, you do it on your own time.  Do you think the best novelists only wrote in their English classes?  Do you think the best Film makers only had their class assignments in their portfolios when they graduated?

Have You Found Your Passion?

Passionate people don’t separate work, academic, or personal life and they don’t make excuses as to why they can’t work towards their goals.  When you love something, it is clearly demonstrated by what you choose to do on your own time.  Are you passionate? If you’re not doing what you love on your own time; you’re not – so don’t say you are until you stop talking and start doing.  Passionate people don’t work for paychecks, they don’t seek degrees for credentials, and they don’t work on projects because they have to.  Passionate people do what they do because they are building their life’s work and each day they make time for their passion, they make progress toward their life goals.  What do you want to give to others with your talents – both the ones you already have and the ones you are working your hardest to develop?  If you are pursuing something because of money, you may be successful, but you won’t be fulfilled.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m passionate about this stuff!  Leave a comment, but this blog article is one I really hope you share because people need to hear it.


You may also want to read:


  • Robert – this is exactly it! I always knew I was passionate but didn’t know how to say it in words. To others, I am always ‘working’ but to me, its my hobby and I’m getting paid for it! My downtime involves doing sample projects & reading more about my industry because that’s what’s exciting to me. I volunteer on as many projects as I work on and I absolutely love it. And a passionate person can always recognize another! Thank you for this post. Great reading.

  • People who are not passionate about what they do often try to bring others down. They say things like “I can’t do that because I don’t have time…must be nice” or “I don’t do that because I have a life.” Passionate people are the lucky ones because they found something they love and they bring a positive energy to those they encounter.

Leave a Comment