The Life-Value Map® below shows how value is created through education, experience and your personal make-up. It is based on the idea that the best work a person or a company can do flows from their Passion through a network of three interrelated value-producing branches—Knowledge, Skill and Preferences—that form the life patterns of value they offer through the specific work that they do using these patterns of value.
Knowledge is what you know in the abstract, Skill is your ability to use your knowledge in practice, and Preferences is the way you uniquely interact with the world on many levels, including how you tend to communicate and interact with others in using your knowledge and skill. Each of these branches is bifurcated into two complementary capabilities—static and dynamic—making 6 independent influences that shape the value you offer. Together these 6 attributes represent 2 to the sixth power, or 64, different combinations of influence that connect a person’s passion to the work they do, or connect a company’s passion for its products and services to its customers.
The best way to get paid for doing the work you love has always been to work for yourself. But this path was not for the faint-hearted; it has always been very risky financially and very difficult to reach new customers with new products and services working as a solo.
Virtually all jobs were once owned by established firms, and career choices were shaped by obtaining job and financial security instead of doing what you loved for a living. The financial security of a job has almost disappeared for most people; and doing what you love to make a living is not only a final option, it may be a blessing in disguise!
Find Your Passion: Follow it in School and Career
The path towards self-work in the new economy starts early by first finding your passion, using it to learn in school, and then creating your own self-work career around your passion.
I had the opportunity to train 137 students in this basic idea recently for both college and career decisions using workshop material prepared for people with jobs inside of companies trying to increase their productivity, and for those who have been laid off looking to become self-employed. Both groups succeed by finding their passion and creating their work around it.
FBLA Student Workshops: A Passionate Education and A Passionate Career
Workshops were conducted by me, Dr. Harris, with Dr David Johnson, for 137 students at the Future Business Leaders of America Conference for Maryland held April 10 and 11, 2014. A report was prepared as feedback for the 137 students and FBLA officials. It describes the process we took the students through and the work products they produced. Their active participation in our workshops provided valuable insights that others can learn from, as well as personal insights they gained for themselves.
Find your passion: Use it to live, learn and work.
The theme of the two workshops was to remind students that they only live once, so why not: Create a passionate life of learning in college and a passionate life of work in your career. The workshops were based on original concepts and material developed by Paradigm Research for use with its clients.
The first workshop focused students on producing a list of the life-passions they imagined for themselves, and using these passions to learn in college and in a career. The second workshop focused the students on using the life work passions identified in the first workshop to create imagined careers of work that fit these passions. Seventy two specific life-passions were identified by the students, who then ranked them by vote (one vote per student). The 72 passions fell naturally into four broad passion categories as follows, with the percentage of votes indicated in parentheses:
- Creating the Future – innovation, science, technology, medicine (35%)
- Caring for Others – helping the poor and elderly, religion, family services 29%)
- Caring for “Me” – focusing on solo careers like singing, writing, sports (24%)
- Debating Each Other – sales, legal services, mediating, social media (13%)
Career paths were then created by students for the top three of these passions working in three groups, one group for each one of the top three passion categories. Each group presented the career paths they came up with and made the case for choosing them.