Passion Rules Obligation

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Last week I finished my internship at JPMorgan Chase. For the last 9 weeks I have been working and learning in one of the world’s most established financial institutions in the Middle Market department and servicing companies that make $20 million to $500 million in revenues. While my team specifically focused on credit, I worked with a wide variety of services such as treasury services, foreign exchange, and second tier financing. I was especially drawn to this department because I personally have an interest in one day working at or owning a company with these revenues.

This summer was a fantastic learning experience. After shadowing and working with number of deals, I understand how to look and understand financials, analyze risks, and so on. But the most valuable things I have learned are what I want and don’t want with my life, my work environment, and my coworkers. This can all be condensed into three words, “Passion Rules Obligation.”

Why do you work? Why do your coworkers work? Is it a passion for what you do, or are you obligated to work?
This internship drastically contrasted with my internship last summer at Google, where the contrast between employee attitudes was stark.

One environment encouraged innovation while the other feared employees violating compliance. There were some inspirational role models at JPMorgan Chase whom floored me with their work ethic, passion in work, and example. I am truly thankful I was able to work and learn from those individuals. Unfortunately, there were others that only worked because work was an obligation.

From a productive standpoint, passion is probably one of the world’s best incentives. I have spent an enormous amount of time learning web design and creating design for an abysmal hourly compensation. Passion was the incentive and push. Passion doesn’t procrastinate, ignores an insulting compensation, and yields dedicated work and an amazing result.

Obligation only forces people to do the bare minimum. Obligation does lead to procrastination and complacency. If someone is obligated to work 40 hours a week, they will work no more than that. If someone is obligated to analyze a company and write a report, they will do it, but no faster than necessary. Sure, the obligation bar can be raised incredibly high, but if it’s seen as an obligation, it won’t be fun. Obligation is a pull where the worker than drag their feet. Passion is a push that rockets that worker forward to unparalleled lengths.

At this time of my life, I need to grow. I need to push myself to become faster, smarter, and more efficient. I don’t know if obligation will accomplish this. I know that passion will.
Passion Rules Obligation.

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