On passion, vocation and mentoring

Here’s an interview I had with Bogdan Dumitrescu from Comedy.Show with ideas about passion, vocation, mentoring and coaching

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]1. What do you understand by vocation? What does it mean?[/ut_highlight] Vocation is for me transforming a passion in a profession that provides you with a decent living while giving you purpose.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]2. What does vocational mentoring mean?[/ut_highlight] Vocational mentoring is a complex process of training and counseling for people that search for their vocation, as described above. Basically, through mentoring one develops a complex relationship in which the mentee has access to the mentor’s life and work experience, while, also, being helped to discover his/her own way in life, his/her own way of acknowledging that vocation.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]3. What do you advise students?[/ut_highlight] The best way in knowing oneself, in knowing what one likes and doesn’t like, what one is good at or not so good at, is action. Therefore, I advise students to experiment as much as they can, to work (even for a day or for free) in as many domains as possible, and to learn from all these experiences who they really are.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]4. What can you recommend them after shortly graduating?[/ut_highlight] If they managed to identify their passions and abilities during studies, ideally they should work, of course paid, as employees, freelancers, or even opening their own business. In order to do so, during their studies, and of course afterwards, it would be good to develop a personal brand, to be known as specialists in their passion or passions, especially on social media channels, which don’t cost so much (or don’t cost period).

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]5. What does passion mean?[/ut_highlight] Passion is for me that activity that gets you into flow, as defined by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Ergo, an activity that charges you while doing it, that makes you forget time and makes you not want to stop, no matter how difficult it is. It’s about that kind of activity which you can’t not do.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]6. How can you make money from a passion?[/ut_highlight] In order to value and monetize a passion, it’s necessary to become a known specialist in that passion. For that, you must develop your abilities and expertize in the field, while also making yourself known by developing a personal brand and the notoriety it requires. Once known as an expert in a certain field, no matter how niched, it is a lot easier to identify and attract ways to monetize your competences.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]7. How important it is to trust yourself and why?[/ut_highlight] Self-esteem that is not based on real experience is just arrogance. I recommend building that trust and self-esteem through personal life experience and through results gained from hard work in various fields and organizations.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]8. What is excitement, in your opinion?[/ut_highlight] Excitement is that affective force that gives us the necessary energy to start new, unknown projects and activities.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]9. What about talent?[/ut_highlight] Talent is, for me, that native ability to learn and do something with ease, whether in the social, practical or artistic fields. But talent without work doesn’t show itself. And work without talent lets you have a decent or even more than decent lifestyle. Those that have talent and, also, work the 10.000 hours in developing that talent, as Malcom Gladwell shows, reach the world top of their field.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]10. What else do you want to say to our students?[/ut_highlight] To experiment a lot and in as various directions as possible, so as to discover their passions, talents and personal motivation in life. And to learn from those experiences, so as not to make the same mistakes over and over, hoping they will reach different results.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]11. And for our professors?[/ut_highlight] To do what a mentor does, meaning to help students discover their own way in life, not to try and chisel them “after their resemblance”.

[ut_highlight color=”#ff6e00″]12. What would you change in the current educational system?[/ut_highlight] I would focus on experiential learning, on a mentoring relationship between the teacher and the student, and I would eliminate any evaluation and punishment system.