From shoe salesman to Dean, Dr. Hobson shares what he’s learned from his career experiences
The secret to finding your passion begins with identifying four core elements about yourself according to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Darrell Hobson. Dr. Hobson believes that knowing your standpoint on the following four core elements helps you discover your passion: vision, values, interest, and competency.
How do you see the world?
“You can tell a lot about people when you know how they think about God, how they think about money, and how they think about children,” said Dr. Hobson. It is vital for every student to answer this question honestly. This will allow for personal adjustment if necessary and enrichment according to Dr. Hobson.
What is it that really matters to you? Dr. Hobson personally answered this question during his career at Nordstrom as a shoe salesman. “I think the main thing that Nordstrom taught me is the value of creating relationships with customers and actually taking care of their needs,” he said. His customer service skills at Nordstrom gave him a unique perspective as a professor: “I think that it is important for faculty – in a sense – to treat the students as a customer. What does a student really need?” said Dr. Hobson.
What do you do when you don’t have anything else to do?
Dr. Hobson noted from personal experience that you can figure out your interests from trial and error. After college, Dr. Hobson worked as a youth associate for 16 months because he felt pressured by his parents to have a profession in ministry. “It was the worst 16 months of my life. It taught me that this wasn’t my calling,” he said. This experience reminded him of his dream to have a career in higher education. Even though pursuing that career contrasted with what his parents desired of him, Dr. Hobson said, “You’ve got to stick to your guns. If you have a passion about something, you’ve got to pay your dues and do the work and chances are it will work out.”
The final core element to discovering your passion is answered through the question, What are you good at?
Coming from a man who has spent 40 years working at Northwest and another 40 at Nordstrom, Dr. Hobson knows exactly what he’s good at: working with and helping people – whether it be with students, faculty, or customers. Three years ago, Dr. Hobson retired from Nordstrom. Still, after 80 years of combined service at Nordstrom and Northwest, he is not complacent with the idea of retirement. Dr. Hobson said with a grin, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
by Alyssa Stinnette and Emma Neustel, Guest Writers