According to Seth Godin in Linchpin, the only winners in the new work world are the ones that are indispensable. If you want to enjoy job satisfaction and job security while making more money, you have to stand out from your peers as someone who can't easily be replaced. And his theory of how to do that is to be creative and take risks at work that benefit the company.
It's a good read (or rather, in my case, listen - which is what I did on our sailboat in Maine!). And it's a real heads-up. Are you content to be like everyone else who does your job? Or are you going to figure out what makes you passionate about what you do and turn it into actions and attitudes that serve as a competitive advantage for your company?
This is another take on personal branding. It really elevates the passion piece. Godin believes that we all are creative as pre-schoolers - and that all that uniqueness gets educated out of us in school. As a former open classroom teacher, I totally resonate with this point of view! Kids were so much happier, more creative, and learned a lot more when their individual choices and differences were honored, not squelshed.
Godin's glimpse into the future of work is this: only distinctive, indispensable personal and corporate brands are going to thrive. Take note! Celebrate your authenticity and passion at work and make them work for you and your organization.