Is Your Passion Becoming A Liability?
As per the common belief, having a passion for a certain job or craft is an asset. But lack of certain business skills and a few bad decisions can turn your passion into a liability. Let me explain this in detail.
Passionate people are great to work with. They tend to develop strong relationships and compatibility with coworkers and their environment. They are very good with soft skills and values like trust, compassion, transparency and mutual-appreciation. But most of them lack a very basic professional skill – How to negotiate for time and money.
Let me ask you this – Have you ever been offered a job where you were asked to settle for less than what you deserved because doing that job was your passion? If you are working in a creative field, the chances are high that your passion has been used as a tool to underpay you. Not once, but multiple times. This makes your passion a liability.
If you haven’t faced this yet, you will soon. But if you have and you are aware and alarmed of these frequent setbacks, you might be going through either of these case –
Case 1: C’est La Vie – You have normalised it in your head. So even when you could negotiate better, the perceived reality of ‘life of a creative professional’ becomes a hurdle for you to get the best deal. And whenever someone asks “Are you paid enough for your passion?”, you’d be like..
Case 2: The Myth Called Success – Even if you got the greatest of the deals, it leaves you thinking that may be you could have negotiated better. Hence you always end up feeling like a loser.
Both these cases leave you unhappy and dissatisfied.
What do the employers / clients say?
“Follow your passion. You are not here for money anyway.” Or “This one is a dry run, if we hit it off well, we shall soon make this better for you.”
The real problem lies in the fact that many of us think we owe our producers/ sponsors/ clients something in return for they have provided us with the opportunity to follow our passion. This makes the equation skewed and the question “Who needs whom more?” starts to tilt in their favour.
My Advice: Discount the passion
So here is something that I want to share with you.
Never accept a low compensation / remuneration just because you think the work is good enough.
With my corporate/ job experience I would suggest this – Never, ever, ever accept an offer that pays you less than what you’re worth, just basis your passion for the job.
The consequences of doing this are deep and recurring. Some of them are complex beyond our imagination. I once made a mistake by accepting an offer which was much lower than what I should have received after my education and experience.
Blinded by my passion, I was convinced that I should not compare my salary with my peers and convinced myself to give a nod basis the kind of assignments I was getting.
This was my first mistake. Many people make the same mistake in various forms.
The second mistake people make is believing that the company will soon notice their worth and give them regular hikes. And they continue to work for many years in that illusion. Now, let’s observe some of the consequences I had mentioned before.
1.Personal loss –
Undervaluation – I had decreased my own value (for the company and the market). The harsh truth is I was just an employee (just a number on the excel sheets) and my value was decided by an amount that was given as a salary to the designation I held. By working on a lower salary you will always be undervalued in comparison to someone who is drawing higher than you in the same organization or outside. I thought – but I work with my enthusiasm and passion. Truth is – No one in the management and valuation department has the data to see your ‘passion’ as frequently and clearly as they can see your salary. Passion remains a personality attribute, important for you to feel motivated and invested in your work.
Job Switch – Let’s say you realise that you have made a mistake and want to change the job, by going to a new company where you want to start afresh. They would refer to the salary you currently draw and won’t be able to hike it up as much as you think. I have a personal experience where the HR manager to this company that I had applied to, was my friend. He said – “Our company is one of the best when it comes to salary and compensations. Your profile and CV look great. Your experience is also matching in quality and quantity both. But we cannot hire you because your current salary is so low that, even if we give you a 50% hike you will still be drawing lesser than the guy who is going to report into you. And this is against our company’s policy.”
I had to let go of this new lucrative job offer.
2. Organisation’s Loss –
Under-budgeting – So I realised my mistakes and decided to make a shift anyway with whatever salary hike I could get. My manager asked me to find a replacement and I started looking for CVs, and consultants to hire someone with similar experience. But guess what, we found no one who could replace me because their salaries were already twice of what I was getting. I asked the management to review the salary for this position for the new person to come. In yearly planning they had not budget so much cost for this designation and it was escalated.
I had unknowingly created a value blackhole in the corporate system. All thanks to my passion for the job.
Always discounted your passion from any deal / offer before evaluating its worth, because that makes it a fair deal for both the parties.
Please let me know you own experiences and I would love to discuss if there is a counter view on this.