Following to an inspiring comment made in MiddleMe that led me full of thoughts and leaving me the thirst to know more about others’ passion in them. You see, passion in people about their work is pretty rare and given that I have the capacity to share this out with the rest of my audience out there, I jumped ahead of myself and I have invited Cedrick (the owner of the inspiration comment and TruCircuit Media) for a ‘sit down’ interview and to my surprise and delight, and I’m honored that he has accept graciously to my interview.
I do hoped that you will enjoy reading the below interview as much as I have enjoyed interviewing Cedrick!
Kally: Hi Cedrick, You left a comment on my site that inspired me to do a post on your thoughts. You have a kind of raw emotion about your job, which is pretty rare. I happen to have the same feeling about my work as well, so we’ll both be able to relate to this topic. Let’s talk a bit about your career and passion. Are you ready for me to tap into your mind and ask you a few questions?
Cedrick: Hello Kally, it all sounds fine to me; I’ve never been interviewed before but I’m prepared to give it a try. Ready when you are.
Please describe your passion in life. What are your hobbies? What do you love the most?
My passion in life has got to me my inquisitiveness. Yes I’m listing a character trait as a passion! Of all my hobbies and interests, the common thread that loops through them and directly into every thing else, is my drive to understand more about it all. As a child, my Mother joked about bringing home new appliances and other things — she’d say, “Where’s Cedrick? I know he’s going to grab the instruction book and then tell all of us how this thing works.”
A frequent comment I hear about my work is that my management loves handing me a new project, even one that I don’t initially understand. They say that they know when I’m done and turn-in the final product, I will have researched it and given the best product I could. I’d say that’s my passion; my drive to know how everything works.
A few of my hobbies are classic cars, motorcycles, writing, playing guitar, nature, and audio recordings. I’m a former college radio DJ and love making high-quality recordings. …and I have numerous other interests.
Share with us the work you do. How did you find this job? How long have you been in this line?
I’m an Air Force vet and I’ve got 15 years of military training and experience in Information Technology. I initially entered the Air force in the administrative field. While I was an Admin Specialist, I reprogrammed some unused computers and used them to perform the duties of 5 secretary typists (whose positions were then terminated) & I received an award for saving the government $1-Million over 10-years. When my Commanders recognized my abilities for IT, they realigned my duties and sent me through formal training.
After leaving the Air Force, I went to work for an R&D institute that I had read about earlier in my military career. My interest in them was that they pioneered new technologies and worked for entities like NASA, JPL, 3M, EPA, and many others. My interview was with an 8-person panel of reviewers who questioned me extensively about my resume, work history, and interests. They created a job to hire me immediately; even before the interview was complete. I wrote my own position description, ordered furnishings and equipment, and defined the duties of my new job. Initially hired at hourly wage, I was promoted to salaried management level in 8 months.
Though my duties are primarily caretaker or $65M of equipment, our Vice President gives me free reign to work IT. I build, load, test, and program new machines. Though I’m a Property Administrator, the other divisions consult me for my input on projects that involve new industrial tech. I have a formal supervisor, yet I’m a management level administrator and work unsupervised.
Match your passion with your work. Is that why you put your all in your work? If you do not have passion, would you have done lesser? Would you have not been your best?
I definitely believe that my passion is what drives me to put my all into my work. I read about tech when I’m at home, I want to see tech when I go shopping, I talk to my friends and family about tech and help them understand their devices. The willingness and eagerness to delve into the field makes it effortless when I’m at work doing it only 8-hours a day. In actuality, I’m involved a lot more than that.
If I had no passion, I definitely would not have done less or been a mediocre performer. I’ve always been a stickler about doing my best whether I liked a job or not. I think what drew attention to me is how I performed my jobs. My passion for tech led me to incorporate it into practically every job, duty, or task I’ve been given.
Another good question may be how much knowledge or experience do I have with something that I have no interest in. How much willingness do I have to read the documentation and retain it? Some of my interests are unorthodox and leads me to be interested in things that I normally wouldn’t be. Whether or not it has a schematic or can be automated always comes across my mind. While I know it’s an odd thing to say, I’d actually rather read a tech manual than a classic book like Tom Sawyer. We’re all different, we all have our interests; and in the big scheme of things, I think people with similar interests like mine as well as people with artistic ones, are what gives the world a balance and help move humanity forward to our next challenges. We all work together; it’s a symbiosis.
Please describe how passion feels to you, or what does it mean to you.
Passion to me is what gives me and everyone else meaning. It gives purpose; it’s why we live and breathe and the very reason we were put on earth. If there was an Eleventh Commandment, it may say, “Thou shalt live out thy life’s truth and give to humanity thy talents, to enable all to thrive and prosper.” Nobody should live their life without doing what they love to do.
Is there a time where you had to work in a job you have no passion in? Share with us the details please.
Yes. I was a cashier at a fast food restaurant before joining the military. It wasn’t a good fit. I’m a shy person by nature and much rather work behind-the-scenes. Though shy, I did enjoy most of the interaction with people, although at the same time, I felt insignificant. I thought that people saw me as someone who bags their food and calculates their payment; and that I wasn’t capable of anything more. I felt I wasn’t doing anything that was either bettering myself or making a difference in my country or the world.
Though I learned how to function as a cashier, my focus was always on something else. A lot of times I remember thinking that a major event had just happened in the news, and here I am in a food place when I should be out helping with that event. I performed the job well but it was never my focus and the longer I stayed there, the worse it got. I kept thinking that I didn’t belong there so I knew I had to leave for the good of that company and the good of myself.
Have you encountered a difficult time at work where it is your passion that pushed you through?
Oh my God yes! All the time! I’m laughing… That’s why they call it work! Nothing is going to be easy! Nothing! Whether or not I’m doing tasks for myself or an employer, I’m going to come across difficulties that will make the job challenging. It’s those challenges that build your strength. You have to think and work at it, and learn your way out of the difficulty. For the time being all you know is that this “thing” is standing in the way of you and success — and then you break through and it works! All the while, behind the scenes, subliminally, you’ve just gained another feather in your hat, more experience, trouble-shooting ability; more mastery. You’re better than you were before the challenge.
Without realizing it, you just jumped another hurdle in becoming one of the world’s best at your task. Keep going and your name gets pushed higher and higher on that list of the go-to person to call when someone needs help with these issues. You’re becoming the knowledgeable professional.
Do you have colleagues who do not have passion at work? How do you feel? Did you provide any advice to them?
Yes I do and I’m careful not to be overly critical of others; I prefer instead to encourage their strengths. As my own career path has taught me; it’s not my job position that defines me, it’s my passion; so I apply it to everyone else. On many occasions, I’ve advised colleagues to transfer into work areas where they’re better suited. Instead of saying “You’re not very good at what you’re doing,” I say, “Hey, you love chemistry and assembly so why don’t you ask for reassignment to work with Dr Brooks?” I’d encourage them by sharing what I observed in their work and their interactions with the divisions I think they’re better suited for.
I remember one employee who constantly told individuals, “That’s not in my job description” when it came to tasks. When working projects, she would only perform tasks that were clearly stated in her Position Description. I had a chat with her about being flexible because I knew that her attitude would put her on the chopping block. Her response was that if they wanted her to do more then they need to pay her more. Predictably, she was terminated within 3 months of saying that.
Sometimes you just can’t get through to someone regardless to what you say and they are determined to do things their way and to accept the inevitable consequences. Everyone has their path in life, and not everyone is interested in being the best they can be. Maybe it’s just their attitude for the moment, and maybe it’s just the way they are. I don’t force it; I don’t twist anyone’s arm to change; I just offer my help.
If you encounter anyone who hates their job, what would you advise them to do? Any advice for anyone who is currently looking for a job or just freshly graduate from school?
I frequently advise people who hate their jobs. Sometimes they come to me and sometimes others “lead” me to them by discussing their situation. Keep in mind that often you have to walk a careful line because some people take offense to receiving advice that they haven’t asked for. I’d advise them to take a look at their life and find the activities that they truly enjoy doing. The things that they would do even if they weren’t paid to do them. Most times, that same activity will translate into a career field. There’s typically a job somewhere related to something that somebody loves to do. Turn your hobby or your interest into your career. Hating your job may be your subconscious telling you that you’re in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing with your life. It’s time to live what you truly are and become the professional you were born to be.
Job advice for seekers or graduates: Of course this answer could cover quite a few pages if I broke it down into experienced or inexperienced, job skills, professional certifications, etc., but I’ll try to make this answer a lot simpler for simplicity’s sake. I’ll offer the same advice to someone whether or not they’re a fresh graduate. The job market is scarce and very competitive and employers are interested in workers who are eager to learn and have an enthusiasm for the job. They want a safe, pleasant working environment, and workers who bring an infectiously positive attitude to work.
When practical, select job openings that relate to your own interests. Pack your resume with all your pertinent skills that show you can perform above and beyond what’s asked of you. Bring your A-Game to your interviews. Don’t be reluctant, and don’t be too arrogant to start at the bottom or in a lesser position than what you previously held. Instead, get your foot in the door by accepting a position, and then set out to prove your worth.
Once you’re hired, the game has only just begun; now you need to show your new employer that they were right for giving you a chance. Give it your all and don’t be afraid to accept difficult tasks or projects — the harder the task, the better you shine when you’re successful. Be cautious of work place distractions (romance, gossip, etc.,) and stay the course. Remember it’s your record of successes that you’re building on to create your ladder to the top. I wish you the best luck in your search and in your career.
If someone wants to hire you for 3 times of your pay and 2 times of your benefits right now, however to do a job probably bored you to death and you don’t think you will learn much from it, would you take it up? Why?
The answer is yes, I would take the job but I would not stay. I’d plan to work there temporarily and use the funds to finance a business of my own. 3-Times the pay rate would enable me to make some profitable long-range investment plans. I’d be working towards a goal of independence and my own company where I would decide the product and direction and I’d be making the decisions. Your passion is the long term goal. Keep in mind that you may have to travel a short-term path (a detour) to get there.
Last but not least, any advice or last words for our readers?
We are what we do. It’s even a historical observation when we look back at famous and notable people who’ve come before us. Albert Einstein was a Theoretical Physicist, William Shakespeare was a writer, Michelangelo was an artist and their names are forever spoken synonymously with their work. It was who they were, it was what they were. Just like them, your work will speak for who and what you were long after you’re gone.
Society stands on the foundations of great people who came before us. The life studies of Isaac Newton and Galileo are now the basic teachings we’re given as children; it’s knowledge to build upon.
Follow your heart; the things that drive you are the things that make you. Your passion will challenge you, teach you, and push you to be more than you were the day before. You’ll struggle and become part of the never ending cycle of learning. Your knowledge and skill will accompany the knowledge and skill of your peers and our ancestors. You’ll help push civilization into the next realm of advancement. …Yes, you.
A better you, means a better us. Bring your vision and passion to work with you. Let it drive the way you perform; let it alter your tasks and projects. Allow your ideas to make your work better. Let your life lessons become part of tomorrow’s cognitive foundation that builds a better future for humanity. A better you, means a better us.
With that, it comes to the ending of the interview. I had fun with this interview and Cedrick made me learned more about himself and his views on passion. Where does the time goes when you had so much fun?
Once again, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Cedrick for sacrificing his time and effort in doing this interview. I am so glad that to have found a kindred passionate spirit and made a new friend.
If you have not done so, come and visit TruCircuit Media, a talented new blogger who writes interesting stories about people, our environment, the world, and humanity.
Word of note: The globe image was produced by NASA. It’s compromised of more than 1,400 images shared from people around the world. Cedrick felt that this human mosaic of earth is a perfect representation of today’s discussion.