(Credit: http://blog.madisonwhoswho.com/)

A recent Harris Interactive survey* uncovered the following statistics on American job satisfaction:

  • - Across America, 45% of workers say they are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their jobs
  • - Only 20% feel very passionate about their jobs
  • - 33% believe they have reached a dead end in their career

Imagine a world where more people loved what they do for a living.

People that are successful in building a brand all have at least one thing in common: They are have an expressed active passion for what they are doing.

What is passion?

* Passion is not talent.
* Passion is not knowing a lot about a topic.
* Passion is not masterful performance of a task.
* Passion is not being hailed as an expert.
* Passion is not having a lot of experience doing something.
* Passion is not the skill you've gotten really good at in your current job.

Passion is about the enthusiasm you have for something. It's the thing you get energized just thinking about. It's the topic you never get tired of learning about. It's what you never get tired of talking about. It's where your creativity soars. It's being in that zone where you forget time, space and even hunger because you are so engaged in what you are doing.

My passion is connecting people with information, ideas, opportunities and resources in order to see them grow from bright to brilliant . It's what I've been doing in some form in every major career milestone: as a teacher, trainer, instructional designer, and now coach. And it is one of the things that make me an excellent coach and speaker: I love finding and sharing information. Where someone else may get bored or frustrated hunting down information, I relish the opportunity to find and share what I discover.

How can passion help build your brand?

The people that change things and make things happen, or that inspire others to move forward rarely do so because they mandate that their ideas or status to the people they connect with. They inspire and spark transformation through their passion for their company, idea, product, project, etc...That's because passion is contagious. Having a well positioned brand opens the door to a place of influence and impact. If you can't get genuinely excited about what you are doing, how do can you expect to have lasting impact and meaningful influence with people and in situations.

Be careful: It's very tempting to attempt to build a brand on whatever the latest buzz is. But will it last? Will you get tired of it after three or six months just when you've got a firm foothold on establishing your credibility? Building your brand around what you are passionate works for you and for those you work with.

Think about the last time you encountered someone who genuinely enjoyed their work. What was their attitude like? How did they treat you? How did you feel after working with or speaking to them? Would you be more inclined to hear their idea or tune them out?

Now think about your own brand - how would your career take off if you found a way to incorporate your passion into your work and into the brand you want to build?

  • Would you be more eager to contribute to you team?
  • Would you be less stressed at the end of the day?
  • Would you attract more opportunities and positive people that could help you take your career to the next level?