How to love your career

Passion, power & purpose

Is work something you endure or enjoy? Since you can spend up to 80 per cent of your waking hours working, why not do what you love?

Caroline Robertson explains how wonderful work is within your reach once you follow your path of passion, power and purpose.


Work was an exciting prospect as bright-eyed kids, dreaming of what we wanted to be when we grew up…astronaut, nurse, fireman, singer or explorer. But somehow, many forgo their fantasies for unfulfilling jobs that sap precious time and energy. Finding joy in your job is crucial for contentment and confidence. It’s also a key factor in mental and physical health, with occupational hazards including long hours, unhealthy environments, work conflicts, unclear roles and unreasonable demands leading many to question the price of their pay cheque.

Work can crush our quality of life when material gains take precedence over health and happiness. However, ‘karma yoga’ or working with minimum stress and maximum mindfulness makes work a meaningful meditation and a satisfying service. It says the secret to any successful career is love. As Pablo Picasso said, “It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.”

Resign from reality for a minute and indulge your imagination. If you had infinite money, time and support to do what you wanted, would you be doing the same work in the same way? What work would you choose to do? How would you serve yourself and others? What legacy would you like to leave with your life?

Jot down a dream job or ambition that fuels your excitement and enthusiasm. See yourself engaged in this activity, the response, the rewards. Write down each step and a timeline towards your dream career while keeping your current career. Are there any aspects to this work that are uncomfortable, such as the commute, hours, tasks? Could they be avoided or adjusted? If not, you need to brainstorm another occupation or approach that suits you. The options are limitless so don’t limit yourself. Listen to your inner calling rather than what others call you to do. Only share your ideas with supportive people. The exhilaration of expressing your unique energy will fuel your success. As Marsha Sinetar states in her bestseller, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, “those who work in a state of mindful awareness bring an almost supernatural power to what they do”. Instead of struggling in loveless labour, thrive as job development and self-development evolve simultaneously. It may seem hard at first but it’s a lot harder struggling in unsatisfying work. Finding the right livelihood ultimately makes life much easier. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural.”


The key to your ideal occupation is to identify both what you want to do and what you’re good at doing. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Can you recall doing something that gave you a surge of satisfaction and appreciation from others? Have you ever been so immersed in an activity that you lost all sense of time? These are cues from the cosmos that you’ve plugged into your special power. Everyone was born with innate skills and strengths that the world wants and needs. The universe has a unique job vacancy for you and it’s your job to find out what that position is. Do some soul searching before you start job searching. Targeting your talents and temperament will help you to hit your career mark. Your professional power is born when you unite your passion and personality. First know thyself then you will know your perfect profession. Understand conditions that you require for productivity and pleasure by accepting your preferences. What hobbies excite you? What did you excel at and enjoy at school? Are you better working alone or with others? Indoors or outdoors? Employer or employee? Are you more suited to sales, research, manual, creative, teaching, entrepreneurial, managerial or financial? There are many quick quizzes to help you identify your ideal career. See ‘quick quizzes’ above, for some useful sites. If unsure about a job’s suitability, talk to someone successful in the industry, study it, seek career counselling, do work experience or see for career snapshots and career mapping. Consider your ideal working situation. Write down the hours, workmates, environment, income and duties. Make a vision board with your photo surrounded by the success you desire. Charge your positive power daily with affirmations to clear your consciousness and create what you want. Sample statements are: ‘My income is increasing infinitely’, ‘Making money is fun and easy’, ‘I relax and receive all riches’, ‘I attract abundance doing what I love’, ‘I share my skills and receive appreciation’, ‘I work smart, short hours’, ‘The universe showers me with satisfaction and plentiful pay’, ‘I enjoy my job’, ‘Work is an expression of love’, ‘Success is self development’, and ‘Earning money empowers me’. As Maya Angelou said, “Nothing will work unless you do.” Fruits don’t ripen in a day but watering your work garden regularly will bring bountiful results.

Work it out

Every job has its highs and lows. There’s no perfect job, only the job perfect for you. Perhaps you’re in your chosen field but need to make minor adjustments for fulfillment. Altering attitude, location, hours, organisation, stress management, relating skills and pursuing extra training can boost a flagging career. Incorporating relaxing regimes into the workday melts mounting tension. Take an hourly break for a stretch, a snack or chat. Take time out before PHT, pre-holiday tension, mounts. Dr Mel Borins, author of Go Away, Just for the Health of It (Wholistic Press), says after a holiday, people are less stressed, burnout levels reduce, work efficiency improves and there’s less absenteeism.


Channelling energy into meaningful work reaps abundant rewards, including financial. As Mark Twain said, “The more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.”

Naturally, there will be challenges and sacrifices in the process but satisfaction and self-esteem strengthen as we face life’s tests rather than hiding from them. Though many want to change their work, they often lack the courage, confidence, information or inspiration to shift. Some are stuck in the ‘Comfort Trap’ as explored in psychologist Judith Sills’ book of the same name, with limited concepts of one’s options and capabilities crippling career moves.

Most are captive in dissatisfying careers for the security of a steady income. Also, many know what they’d like to do, but don’t do it for fear of change. This creates incredible internal stress as the soul’s true mission and expression is sacrificed in favour of ‘the job of least resistance’. The discrepancy between what we want to do and what we feel we have to do wages an inner war as we struggle to summon the strength to continue or to search for an alternative. Writer, Dostoyevski said, “Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.” Our work is intrinsic to our identity, so doing work aligned with our ethics and values instills self-esteem and purpose. Whether you want to be a wonderful mother or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the motivation and inner satisfaction is the same – to use your brain and body in the most meaningful way. Maintain a vision of your ultimate aim and focus on productivity so momentum carries you to greater goals. Reinforce progress by noting down positive moves you made towards the direction of your dreams. Your approach and even aims may change as you go along but as long as passion, power and purpose are your compass you will always attain a happy place. As Laurence Boldt said in the Zen and the Art of Making a Living (Penguin Arkana), “Your self-expression is your gift to the world. Discovering your life’s work is not a mechanical process of assembling facts; it is more a matter of trusting yourself.” So trust yourself and go for it! 

NEXT: 7 tips to happiness at work>>

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