I know it is time to be thankful and such (and I AM) but I’m getting a little fed up. You see, I’ve been under a barrage of messaging that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Seriously. In the last two weeks I’ve been hit with the “It’s not just a job, it’s _________” line so many times that it makes me wonder why people would even want to get paid for what they do anymore.
The alternatives to it being a job have included:
- our passion
- an adventure
- an attitude
- a lifestyle
- an identity
But why are people compelled to say this at all? Is it effective?
“It’s not just a job, it’s our passion” may sound powerful – and indeed it must be, given that it has recently been used to sell face painting, healthcare, web design, die cutting, stone, airplanes, beauty salons, groceries, photography, parties, childbirth classes, sailing lessons, cycling tours, custom storage, translation, and movers.
In order for something to be a passion it seems that it should not only be what you do for the paycheck, but what you do on your vacations and downtime. Some of the above list seem good candidates – photography, sailing, biking, and maybe even parties and childbirthing. But how many of you can picture people so passionate about selling airplanes or groceries that they go on vacations just so they can do MORE of it?
“It’s not just a job” has become a short-cut to an emotional connection with the intended client. Rather than build a story that shows how strong an organization (or person) feels about something, they instead just say that they feel strongly and let that stand in for those pesky details.
I have a feeling that these same marketers are the ones that put pictures of families seated around the holiday table with their product prominently featured (“Energy Drinks Bring Your Family Together For The Holidays!)
I’m calling BS.
If it is not readily conceivable how a passion could be built around something (say, mining rock, perhaps) then you are hereby obligated to tell us the fascinating story of how you came by your passionate connection. If not in person (since we’re likely to fall asleep) then at least in print. You owe us that much. If you’re actually passionate about a completely dull topic that ends cocktail party conversation then there’s got to be a good story in there somewhere. How did you become a convert? How did dull and boring become the core of your being? What makes it exciting enough to spend your free time dreaming about it?
That’s a story that will convince people of your sincerity – and one that may well get you clients for life.
As for me, I’m prepping for Thanksgiving, which is often more of a job than a passion, but this year we’re not hosting and don’t have to cook much, so I’ll be leaning towards the passion a bit more than usual.
Have a great holiday all! Thanks for making 2008 the best year in Stokefire’s short history.