Jody Phillips

Hirevision Career Coach


Can you LOVE what you do AND be rich?

“People who love their work bring an intensity and enthusiasm that’s impossible to match through sheer diligence. … Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice. Therefore, career experts argue, you’re better off pursuing a profession that comes easily and that you love, because that’s where you’ll be more eager to practice and thereby earn a competitive advantage.”–Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun (p. 71)

Has Gretchen got something here or what? Do you, like so many others, believe that work is 80% diligence and 20% passion?  Well, on closer examination, honestly, maybe it’s 80% diligence, 5% passion, and 15% mind-numbing boredom!
In a culture where Wednesday is referred to as “hump day” and the end of the week is greeted with a chorus of “thank God it’s Friday,” are we so disenchanted with our work that we’re wishing our very lives away?  Are you one of the many who live in anticipation of two or three weeks’ vacation a year, seeing your time off as your only genuinely pleasurable time?

The people I know who LOVE their work are unaware of time–other than not having enough of it!

  • For instance, when my architect friend Rich gets awarded a new project, he hops around like a kid who can’t wait to get into his sandbox.  Rich loves nothing more than dreaming up buildings. To him, design equals play.
  • Page, an editor I collaborate with, says that when she finally decided what she was put here to do, she couldn’t believe that people would pay her to read! Guess what her favourite hobby is? 😉

Both Rich and Page sometimes get up in the middle of the night to work! Yup–their passion knows no clock. Their avocation is truly timeless.

My belief: you’re not only doing yourself a favour by finding your dharma, you’re doing the world and your bank account one too. Why? Well, when work is bliss, you’re happier and more productive. That joy dribbles into your family life, into every human interaction you have. Happier people, happier world. As for your bank account, most wealthy people got that way by doing what they love, not by aspiring to riches. Money is a by-product of putting something excellent into the world, not an end in itself.

Can you feel the difference when a product or service is infused with the love of having created it? I can. So what’s your passion? What do you love to do?


How to Avoid Death by Unemployment

Can being unemployed make you sick? Worse, can it kill you? You bet! According to a recent article in the New York Times, downsizing can be downright dangerous.

Forget about the unemployment statistics that are powered, in some small part, by your getting whacked.  What about the trauma that stresses you out, has you on a direct trajectory to a dirt nap?

As someone who’s worked with the unemployed, underemployed and those teetering on the verge, I know which emotion rules their psyches–fear. And what’s lurking behind fear? Powerlessness. You’ll find the core belief that survival and success lie in the hands of corporations and in the heads of politicians, out of their control.

Take Back Your Power

Not. C’mon! I helped my cleaning lady morph into a pet groomer, an IT dude become a tech recruiter for the green energy sector, and a university student create his own job stringing tennis rackets and coaching kids. And look, not one of them is bound by a Daddy. They’re all self-employed.

Easy? No. But let’s face facts. Slapping a nitro pill under your tongue isn’t exactly a trip to Disney either, is it?

Come on! Do you really believe that if Generic Co. can’t hire you, it’s all over? That if the “Administration du jour” doesn’t create opportunities, you should pour yourself a stiff one and wait for the big one?

Take a lesson from the career jockeys, the folks who are always on the hunt and who always land well. What’ve  they got that the people in decline, readying themselves for the paddles, don’t? Their own confidence and power. They believe there’s a solution. And they find it.

Unearth Your Gifts

How? Focus on your talents. Focus on what you love to do. Research the market. Ask what it needs. Even bad markets need something. Then dovetail where you shine with what the world needs.

But the first decision is the most important: the one where you take back your power and start looking at what you can do. Skip the pity party. Evict your inner victim.  Stop looking at the empty holes in the cube farm, anticipating that yours could be next. Quit commiserating with anyone who’s mired in misery. And start examining your talents. Trust me, you have something to give. It’s there.

Has your health been affected by your employment situation? What’s your story? Got any tips for reclaiming your vocational and your medical well-being?