Interest. Passion. Asset.

I was brought up with a love for singing. It started with my mother, then elementary school music class, then a boys choir in 6th grade, which gave me my first shot at the spotlight when I performed with 3 other guys in front of our whole school for Earth Day. Then I moved to Texas, where they take their gospel music very seriously, and I spent the next seven years singing everything from Beethoven to Broadway. I had solos in the big shows, I was in the show-choir that performed around the community, I was one of 5 guys selected to be in a musical my senior year, and every year for six years straight I competed to get into the All-Region choir, and aced my competitive solo recitals. And then I just stopped.


It’s now been another seven years, and besides the shower and the street corner, drunk, I don’t sing at all. I took an interest in music, I turned that interest into a passion, and then I turned that passion into something noteworthy – into an asset I could put on a resume, talk about, and showcase. And then I just stopped.


Here at Microsoft I have cultivated my passion for technology. But when I noticed it was happening, I realized I have always had an interest, I have always been drawn to technology, but I somehow never thought to take that interest, and develop it into a passion, and then into an asset. I was the kid who made stop-motion animation movies using PowerPoint in highschool. I was the kid who took two years of AP Computer Science, aced the AP Test, and never took another programming class again. In retrospect, I threw away an interest, that was beginning to bloom into a passion, that could have become an asset, rather than embracing it. And it wasn’t until I came to Microsoft that I rediscovered it, and cultivated ilt it into a passion.

Now I spar with my roommate – a Product Manager on Windows 7 – and shoot down his arguments with quotes from blogs I recall from memory, and he asks “how do you know that?” Once again, after some meandering, I’ve taken an interest and turned it into a passion, but what will I do next? How can I find a way to convert this passion into a role, into a position, into a real asset – something with substance?


In working with our MSPs – our student reps – it occurred to me one day – why do we employ a marketing agency to design viral marketing tactics – when instead we should be empowering these students – who already may have these hidden skills – to do it for us. They’re already more passionate about technology than any marketing agency – they already know more about Microsoft-  why not harness that?


And since then we’ve launched a series of projects to get-at that hidden talent – a blogging competition, asking them to start Twittering, and most-recently a “Movie Trailer” competition where they created their own trailers for fictitious movies. What I learned is that we all have hidden interests; that as companies become bigger and bigger we assign people to be each cog in the machine – and we forget that people have multiple skill sets – that they can be more than one cog.


Ultimately, isn’t that what we are all striving for? To find a way – to find a job – that get’s you excited? A job that let’s you reach your potential? A job that’s you have fun at? That if you could only find that thing, you would be amazing at it, and success would come naturally?


One thought on “Interest. Passion. Asset.

  1. This is the first time I’ve commented here and I must say you give genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Great job.
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