SmartRecruiters Blog

Recruiting: Passion for What I Do

I was recently asked a great question, as an executive search professional, What is core of my expertise? 

I pondered for a second; the first thoughts were well I am pretty much a guru at all of the day to day recruiting skills.  I have 29 years’ experience in all forms or another in recruiting. The answer that came to mind is I am passionate.  Is it a skill?  Maybe, but what I am sure of is passion will drive learning the skills needed to support one’s passions.  And it is an amazing transformation that has been happening in me because it has not always been the case.  Being that passion is not so much a hard skill, in one context it is an emotion, in the context I am coming from it is an inner drive that comes from the center of my being.  And that passion changes everything; is changing everything.  It is valuable very, very valuable.  In fact, passion’s price and value is immeasurable.  For me it is the engine that drives life and defines what my life is. Passion is not something that can be made or learned.  I can’t make myself be passionate.  But I can know what I am passionate about.
Passion in the context of career is a motivation in an occupation.  A passionate individual about their occupation is more likely to yield a result of greater work and extra-work satisfaction.  Well-being is elevated, confidence soars, the soul is fed and the feeling of being satisfied is reached.  There is getting physically tired from a full day, but never burnt out.  The other beauty about passion is that those with it tend not to get stressed, even under high demands and tight deadlines to perform.

Business, family and social relations are improved, joy cannot be contained, it bubbles out and others are affected by it.  Others see it and you become a fun person to be around.  The choice of pursuing one’s passions when there is a decision to make around choices, decisions and opportunities yields the result that life just keeps getting better always.

Another result of my passion is I am at ease, I don’t react or on the rare occasion that someone pushed my buttons, I get over it quickly as I reflect it’s not that big of a deal, as I have purpose, challenges and obstacles are gone around, through or over.  It is an immense feeling of gratitude to know what I want and I am creating that and others want to be around me.  Doing the things I love is no greater feeling.  Creating an environment and circumstances (the circle that stands around me) is one of the most fulfilling activities to undertake.

One of the great companies I have had the honor to work at, Microsoft, has built a blue chip company on what they refer to as their core 3 P’s of Microsoft: Passion, Potential and People.  They understand passion as key, for people who are passionate about their occupation, work harder, they create, they are a joy and pleasure to work with, a culture of collaboration ,excitement and enthusiasm is fostered and nurtured.  Careers and lives are fulfilled; life and business challenges are overcome.

Last year Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer spoke at the University of Southern California’s commencement speech and Ballmer gave this advice: “Number one, great ideas matter. Number two, find passion. And, number three, be tenacious, be irrepressible.”

This topic is so important a dissertation and books could be written, and have been written.  To end, my advice, person to person, recruiter to professional, is to ask you 5 questions from the New York Times Bestseller, The Passion Test:

  • Am I excited about my life and turned on by the things I get to do each day?
  • Do others comment on how happy I am and what fun it is to be around you?
  • Am I very clear about the top five passions in my life, those things that matter most to me?
  • Do I make decisions based on what will help me live my passions most fully?
  • Do I spend my days doing things I love, surrounded by people I love?


Passion and blessings to all of you,

Marc Gurtman

Marc Gurtman