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Turning A Passion Into a Career Blurs the Line Between Work and Play

Alboher_2 It's been said that "when you love your work, it's not work, it's play." Echoing this theme is a recent article by Marci Alboher (one of our past attorney success stories) in the New York Times which discusses how the boundary between work and play is blurred for people who are able to turn a personal passion into a career. As an example, she tells the story of Anthony Sandberg who leveraged his love for boating into one of the leading sailing schools in San Francisco.

Alboher also cites this bit of related advice from Maggie Mistal, a career coach:

When people do something they enjoy, it gives them energy. They start living in a way that has meaning and purpose . . . If your passions don’t exactly lead to a career choice, the personality traits and skills surrounding those passions should, and you should use those to craft a career choice.

This is an important point for unhappy lawyers. Career disillusionment often results from a mismatch between personality and work environment. For example, an individual who enjoys collaboration will be miserable working in litigation where there is constant confrontation. Or a naturally gregarious person will feel stymied in a specialty that involves extensive research and little face-time with clients (like tax work).

Not everyone can turn their passion into career. But if you follow Mistal's advice and look for work that matches your core personality traits and skills, work will soon start to feel less burdensome, and more meaningful. Not easy to do, but certainly something to strive for.

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This advice - better still call it wisdom - is just as true for seasoned professionals as for young ones.

In our *Next Generation, Next Destination* programs, we provide tools for Baby Boomer senior professionals to get excited about their next phase career in front of them after leaving the place they may have been for the major part of their current career. For some it is a process of unearthing dreams or interests they have put aside as successful lawyers with no time to think of what else they'd like to do. The renewed energy they feel can be amazing once they broaden horizons and face their fears.

So JD "bliss" can be found at all stages and levels of career.

Phyllis Weiss Haserot

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