The #1 Key To Success At Work Is…

What’s the #1 key to success? We uncovered words of wisdom from Confucius, Vincent van Gogh, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, all which point to one very specific trait – one that is without a doubt the secret to their success.

We spend roughly 100,000 hours of our lives at work. For many, a job is just a means to an end. Others, though, have found a way to “unsuck” work, get more involved in their roles, and use the time they spend at work to better themselves and others. What sets these individuals apart?

The secret is passion.

Passion is enthusiasm, eager interest, and admiration. It’s a compelling desire to be better, reach higher, and make an impact. When you’re passionate about some aspect of your job, it becomes more than just a paycheck – it becomes an integral (and exciting!) part of your life.

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” – Vincent van Gogh

While you certainly need more than just passion to succeed in the workplace, it’s a trait that can set you apart from your coworkers and can lead to a more fulfilling work experience. No matter what you’re most engaged with, having a deep investment in some aspect of your work life makes work more rewarding for you, and for the organization. Companies with engaged employees out-perform those without by up to 202%, making passionate employees an asset to any organization.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Passion does not mean being an expert – but it does mean that you’re curious, and eager to learn in order to help you succeed. Employees can acquire job-relevant skills and knowledge over time, but it’s not possible to train someone to be passionate about the work they’re doing. Passion stems from personal interest, and personal motivations.


Having passion for your job doesn’t mean you need to eat, sleep, and breathe work. It means that you’re engaged, you’re interested, and you’re excited. While having a personal interest in your company’s product or industry can help, it’s not a necessity.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

You can be passionate about your daily responsibilities, the causes you serve, your company culture, or your relationships with coworkers. Or maybe you’re not passionate about your current role – but you can be passionate about your career goals, and can engage in your current role to get closer to achieving those goals.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

So the next time you find yourself grumbling about Mondays, or thinking about submitting a job application, ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I passionate about this work? Do I love some part of what I am doing?”

If the answer is no, it might be time to re-evaluate your job and find a better way to unlock your key to success and thrive in your career. Aren’t sure where to begin? We suggest taking the free Good.Co career personality test. This is a great way to unlock your personal career strengths and get perspective on what you need to succeed at work.

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