What’s More Valuable: Skills or Passion?

This post is by Marc DeBoer, president of  A Better Interview.

In a job market and economy that are constantly evolving, job seekers are trying to beef up their resumes and profiles with fantastic skills — and in most cases, that’s OK. Evolving skills into concrete experiences can be extremely valuable to our next employer. However, is passion is more valuable than all the skills you’ve attained, or vice versa?

Job skills can be defined as your ability to complete goals and objectives on the job. Overtime, through various experiences and trainings, our skills are enhanced so that we can tackle bigger goals and objectives. Dennis Boone, former CEO of Verizon, recently said in a Fox Business Article: “An employee committed to achieving their goals and objectives is a marvel to witness. I especially value the employee that, when times are tough, continues to strive for solutions and refrains from the ‘blaming others’ behavior that, unfortunately, we see too often.”

It’s this ability to enhance our skills to tackle our goals and objectives that make us attractive to our next employer. Also, all job descriptions full of skills required to be successful at the job. Every company puts an emphasis on quantitative skills and your ability to do the necessary requirements of the job, but is that the right way to look at talent?

That brings us to passion. College graduates, returning veterans and career changers will never have the necessary skills to complete the job they are applying for. Why? Because they have gained no experience or skills, according to the employer. However, websites like JobEvolve.com are offering fantastic personality assessments that give an edge to these people — an edge that helps their passion shine over their lack of skills.

In the HR world, though, it’s not called passion, it’s “employee engagement,” HR will constantly send out surveys to gauge the current engagement against past surveys. This essentially tells them how happy their employees are, but why do companies care about “happy employees”?

For one thing, happier employees work harder. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, “People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions. In fact, we found that, if happier on a given day, people were not only more likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem that same day but also to do so the next day.”

Gallup quantified the link between employee feelings and corporate outcomes, reporting that lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs more than $300 billion in the U.S. annually. A separate Gallup study by researcher James Harter and his colleagues found that business unit sales and profits at one point in time are predicted by employees’ feelings about the organization at earlier points in time.”

When someone is passionate about something, they will pour their heart and soul into everything they do, but does that make you more valuable to a company?

It takes a combination of both assets to be valuable to a potential company. Having one or the other means that you’re missing a crucial part to be successful in the job. When preparing for your next interview, think to yourself, what are the transferrable skills that I can present to my new employer and how can I show them that I truly love what I do?

You do that and you will land any job!

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