The Value of Doing What You Love in Your Career, According to Entrepreneur Trevor Edwards

As a famous old quote goes: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It’s an adage that has fueled a successful career for business tycoon Trevor Edwards. When Trevor Edwards first started in his career, he took a well-paid position that won him much acclaim, but as Edwards recalls, he hated the high-paying gig.

Which led him to another saying: “Mother always knows best.” When his mom asked him whether he was enjoying the new role, Trevor Edwards gushed about it being a great company to work for and touched upon the ways he could progress in the future. But Mama Edwards gave an all-knowing gaze.

“Hey, you didn’t go to college, study, and work as hard as you did, to do something you don’t love,” Edwards recalls of that tough talk with mom. It was a perspective-shifting moment for the young professional.

“It wasn’t judgemental or harsh,” explains Trevor Edwards. “She just called it as she saw it. At that moment something clicked for me. It was the greatest career advice: Pursue your passion and do things you love. I’ve taken that message through my entire working life and it made a difference for me.”

After that conversation, everything changed for the entrepreneur. It pushed him to change lanes when it came to his career and follow a path that would eventually lead him to hold lofty positions including that of president of a leading athletic brand. Here are Trevor Edwards’ reasons why you need to do what you love in your professional life.

Passion Leads to Success

You could be forgiven for presuming sheer talent gets you ahead in the business world. While you need great skills to succeed, there’s another key element you don’t want to overlook. Research from Tel Aviv University suggests that having passion for your chosen field is likely to help you climb the career ladder. Believe it or not, the study found this factor was more important than talent when determining success. In simple terms, if you love what you do, you’re primed to succeed.

“If you experience a strong calling, you need to be cognizant of your relative preferences for intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards and potential trade-offs between the two, then decide accordingly,” says Dr. Daniel Heller of Tel Aviv University’s Recanati School of Business, who conducted the research. “However, we found that, in certain fields, one’s drive or passion afforded a competitive advantage over others, even when unrelated to objective ability or talent.”

Willingness to Learn

There’s another major advantage to following your dreams when it comes to your career. When you’re passionate about your job, you’re more likely to want to hone your skills within that field. The truth is when you care about your job, it doesn’t feel like work. That means taking the time to learn more about the industry and gaining additional skills is not as laborious as you might imagine. Needless to say, the more training you get, the better position you’ll be in when it comes to progressing in your chosen field.

There are plenty of ways in which you can expand your skill set. Trevor Edwards says he’s continually learning new things and reading the latest industry insights. Making these moves means he stays ahead of the game and comes up with new ideas in the process. You could say it’s a win-win scenario. However, you need to decide what works for you. For instance, you may decide to subscribe to online magazines, take an evening course, or ask about career development programs at work.

The Takeaway

Do you have a passion you want to pursue? If the answer is yes, it could be time to start looking at ways to weave it into your career. Making that move could mean you have a better chance of getting promoted and scoring managerial positions. If Trevor Edwards’ success story is anything to go by, picking an industry that excites you could mean you become notable in your field. Take the time to consider what options you have and make the career move that suits you and your interests.

Trevor Edwards: A Winning Career in Retrospect

Edwards says he’s proud of his journey both in and out of the boardroom. Edwards grew up in South London but his family emigrated from there to Kingston, Jamaica, when he was 13. From there, Edwards landed in New York, where he attended Baruch College and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration degree. He then landed at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, but soon left to pursue his passions.

His many career highlights include serving as the global business development manager for Colgate Palmolive between 1986 and 1992. From 2012 to 2018, Edwards served as the director of the board of directors for Mattel.  Trevor Edwards has been recognized as of Sports Illustrated‘s 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports 2003–2004, and Black Enterprise magazine’s list of 50 Most Powerful Blacks in Sports in 2005.

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