“Find Your Passion” is Bad Advice… How to Shine at Work…

“Find Your Passion” is Bad Advice

If you’re waiting for the appearance of a passion that leads to career happiness and success, stop—and get busy instead.

The misguided mantra to “find your passion” distracts people from actively cultivating interests, say researchers from Stanford and Yale. They claim the word “find” suggests a magical process uncontrolled by the individual. However, the research showed that passions or interests are developed by investing time and energy into discovery rather than waiting for the proverbial lightbulb to appear.

The study measured mindsets linked to “theories of interest,” specifically the effects of fixed mindsets, or the belief in innate interests, versus growth mindsets, or the belief that interests are acquired. The study revealed that people with a fixed mindset who have the belief that passions simply appear tend to be less curious than people with a growth mindset, who view acquiring interests as a process that unfolds. This more take-charge process is more likely to lead to a satisfying career.

From Quartz Media

How to Shine at Work

What do employers value in employees? The attributes below are characteristics that will help any worker stand out on the job.

Punctuality shows respect for others’ time.

Focus demonstrates self-discipline in a time of countless distractions.


Eagerness means taking on additional responsibilities and looking for learning opportunities.

Integrity makes an employee trusted and credible.

Objectivity removes emotion from business dealings so that actions are fair.

Flexibility is essential in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

These attributes add up to professionalism, the underpinning of all successful careers.


Gentlemen, Please Step Up

Practically daily, the media report on another addition to the #MeToo movement. According to The Wall Street Journalopinion columnist Peggy Noonan, the reason is that too few men are gentlemen.

Noonan does not defend predators—men bent on sexual assault and rape—but separates those acts from general boorish behavior. Men can be grabby creeps, slobs, pigs, Noonan writes. But those problems might ease if men behaved courteously and honorably, showing dignity and respecting the dignity of women.

Noonan notes that on one hand, social media have created the forum for a lack of decorum that brings out the worst in male brutishness. On the other hand, there may be hope, she writes: The Internet is laden with definitions of what a gentleman is and how to be one.

From the The Wall Street Journal

Use the Oxford Comma for Clarity

[Instructors: Download PDFs of the exercise and exercise key at the end of the post.]

Careful writers use commas to separate three or more equal elements (words, phrases, or short clauses) in a series. To ensure separation of the last two elements, always use a comma before the conjunction in a series, known as the Oxford comma.

The event committee was meeting to discuss guests, invitations, venues, and costs.      [commas in a series of words]

Agenda items included a report on hiring practices, discussion about open positions, and review of the previous week’s e-mail blast. [commas in a series of phrases]

Marketing will focus on creating the messages, production will mock up a sample, and         sales will devise a distribution list. [commas in a series of clauses]

Correct the punctuation in the sentences below.

  1. Among those attending were two interns, Tim Cook and Bill Gates.
  2. When hiring, the manager looks for candidates who possess strong communication skills, two years of experience and a bachelor’s degree.
  3. The company is cutting costs by addressing waste, overtime and supplies.
  4. The study found that new-hires were most interested in upward mobility, current employees cared most about benefits and retirees had concerns about pension stability.
  5. The book was dedicated to his parents, Mariah Carey and LL Cool J.
  6. To plan for retirement, new workers should open an IRA, save to create a cushion and consult a financial planner.
  7. Because small companies do not have a large workforce, employees have the opportunity to be more versatile, work on new skills and grow in unexpected ways.
  8. The meeting was so poorly run that attendees left confused, irritated, and hungry.
  9. Issuing smartphones to staff allows an organization to monitor employee communication, ensure compliance with policies and check access to electronic systems.
  10. Women working in male-dominated industries such as construction or technology often face hazing, harassment and inequality.
  11. Public relations relies on many components including social media to connect with stakeholders, websites to provide information about the organization and events to engage with investors.
  12. When interviewing for a new job, applicants should arrive 15 minutes early, bring a résuméand prepare questions.
  13. The position requires an individual with experience in advocacy, a background in science and desire to effect change.
  14. To stand out in a new position, an employee should show focus, enthusiasm and integrity.
  15. Highlights from the global tour included encounters with Angela Merkel, a five-ton elephant and an exotic weapon collector.


Oxford CommaExerciseKey

Ta-ta Cubicle, Hello WeWork

Long gone—and good riddance—are offices with rows of cubicles or desks modeled after factory assembly lines. In fact, many employers today use office design as a statement of their firm’s ethos and even provide common areas for relaxing, free food, and toys to foster employees’ loyalty. Another new take on the traditional office is the common workplace—offices in which individuals and small businesses share space and costs.

WeWork, an eight-year-old company, is taking the notion of the common office to a whole new level, and its goal is nothing short of transforming the way the world thinks about work. Headquartered in New York but with services across the globe, WeWork began as an agency that offered established businesses, startups, and freelancers workspaces designed to bring community to the office place. It initially attracted freelancers and tech start-ups with features such as aesthetic design, large common areas, free beer, and piped-in music chosen to appeal to millennial workers.

Common Area, WeWork, Culver City, CA

In these spaces, businesses that typically have nothing to do with one another—a dance company and a hair care start-up, for example—work side by side. WeWork runs the spaces using economies of scale, saving renters money and allowing them to focus on their businesses.But the idea is starting to catch on with larger, more established corporations, which are moving into WeWork spaces, too. So far, The Weather Channel, GE, HSBC, and Microsoft are among those that have signed on, banking on the WeWork promise to cut operational costs by up to 50%.

Cost cutting isn’t WeWork’s only goal, though. Its founder, Adam Neumann, has a vision to offer corporate customers a WeWork operated space that provides not just a communal office but the amenities humans need for everything they do except sleep—spa, gym, restaurants, and even a dry cleaner. The reason? So strangers can come together and perhaps be the balm that salves our fractious world… or at least make connections that can lead to more cross-venture interactions.

The idea has detractors. Some paired organizations have vastly different work models and quibble like roommates. Business valuators claim the model cannot sustain itself. Still, there’s no denying that Neumann is onto something. The young company is currently valued at $20 billion.


  1. What are the advantages to sharing work space with a mix of different businesses for individuals? small companies? large organizations?
  2. What do you think about Neumann’s idealistic goal of using the workplace to help solve problems in our divisive world?
  3. Which situations gave rise to this new model of shared office space?