26 11.2013

Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

How many people love their jobs?

Sadly, many people see work as a means to earn an income.  Although this is true, there is more to work.

Work provides the outlet for you to practice your skills, express yourself, thereby, validate who you are.  Some may think that their career is their destiny.

Let’s consider some examples of people who made a success of their careers.  For some, it may have been against the odds.

Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice left school at 16 and is now the head of a $130 million turnover business,   “She had a variety of jobs but wanted a part-time job so she could spend more time with her children.  She ended up working 17 hours a day as she inadvertently created a brand that now has 240 franchised stores globally.”

The architect of Sydney Opera House, Jørn Utzon was a relatively unknown until 1957 when his entry was announced as the winner of the ‘International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’.  Judges declared the Utzon design to be outstanding.  He had never visited the site, but his life and travels had shaped his ideas for the Sydney Opera House.

Richard Branson struggled at school and dropped out at age 16.  He decided to sell popular records out of a church which led to the creation of Virgin Records.  His entrepreneurial skills expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire.

On the road to build your career success, a number of factors will help you.

Understand who you are

To build a successful career entails self understanding of who you are as an individual – what makes you tick:  your personality attributes skills, values, motivation, strengths and weakness.  You know what is important to you so decisions are made from this framework.

Acknowledge your greatest skills and do what you ‘love’

Consider your primary skill and passion as a way to create a meaningful career.  Successful people love what they do because they apply their strengths and skills to their work.

Consider job roles where you can express your core skills.  Your career will represent the authentic you.  Your passion will shine and be obvious to people you come in contact with.  Not only will you be happy, you will produce great work.

For example, if writing is your strength, there are ways to express your passion and earn a living.  Careers with writing include: journalism, editor, instructional designer/course developer, blogger, advertising copywriter, author, fundraiser, technical writer, or public relations.

Tasks that are less desirable will be completed as a way to achieve your work role responsibilities.  It will be done with positive energy as a means to an end, rather than with dread.

You will also be efficient and productive in your work. You find ways to improve by creating your own professional standards and, stretch yourself to surpass your standards.

Overcome obstacles

There is a fine line between success and failure.  As you set out to undertake work responsibilities, you will encounter challenges and obstacles.  It’s unrealistic to think that it is a straightforward process.

Positive and successful people will design strategies to overcome obstacles.  They will seek assistance, learn and grow during the process.  These lessons will be carried into new situations.  They will enhance their work performance through wisdom.  Others, give up and look for excuses.

If you want to succeed, you will encounter failure, but apply the lessons from which to learn and grow.

Notice your success and validate it 

Many people have success at work, but may not stop to appreciate their achievements.  So often, it passes unrecognised!

Success does not need to be major, even small triumphs such as: designing an efficient work process, meeting your deadline, completing a project with successful collaboration from your time and on time, a positive contribution during a meeting with your team or with stakeholders, developing a workplace document, or staying calm when you are faced with pressure or a difficult person.

Self awareness is critical to your self esteem, and appreciating what you do well validates you and your work.  It is the first step to building self confidence.

Develop a healthy self concept

Self concept is how you view yourself.  It determines how you will experience life.  If you see yourself in a positive and healthy light, your life experiences will be positive and healthy.  The challenges that you face will be handled as learning experiences from which to make decisions and grow professionally and personally.  Conversely, if one’s self concept is fragile, they will struggle with life’s challenges which will affect self esteem.

To develop a healthy self concept, you must understand who you are, appreciate your qualities – both positive and weaknesses, be true to yourself to lead an honest life. 

Record your achievements

Record your achievements in a work diary or journal, and refer to it during a business meeting, staff performance appraisal, or at a job interview.  It may lead to a promotion or new role.  When left to memory, you are at a risk of omitting important information.

Positive work relationships

When you are engrossed and focussed on your work, it will take a priority over other matters.

In all workplaces there exists office politics, work pressures, and individuals who do not always act in the best interests of others.  You acknowledge this, but prefer to focus on your job.  Rather than being hooked into negativity, you choose to rise above this.  It takes self discipline, a positive disposition and a strong work ethic.  This is not always easy and creates a professional challenge.  Yet, you focus on your passion and work values which are about work quality and professionalism for you to achieve.

Through work satisfaction, authentic self expression and true happiness is attained.  Individuals will stretch themselves to grow and learn.  When successful, individuals will mentor entrants to the company or industry, thereby, duplicating success.

“The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


LeahLeah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Crown Coaching and Training, and has over 30 years experience in career development, life coaching, education and training.  Leah holds a Master in Professional Education and Training, Graduate Diploma in Career Development, and Certificates in Life Coaching, Mediation Skills, and Psychodrama.

Published author of 2 books and former freelance writer for Herald Sun – where I wrote in Education, then The Age – wrote in Education, Employment and had a few articles published in Business

Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA), a professional member of Australian Career Professionals International (ACPi-Aus).  Her international accreditation with the Institute of Career Certification International is currently under consideration.

Leah can be contacted on:



Training Testimonials

Gina Liu
Gina Liu

Senior Pathway Advisor

Thanks Leah for having provided fantastic training. I did enjoy the course and learnt a lot.

I am interested in continuing my study in this direction so I will think about taking up further study in Graduate Diploma.

James Alexander
James Alexander

Account Manager

Thanks again for your patience and support throughout the duration of the course. I couldn’t have completed without your support and assistance.

Judith Ayre
Judith Ayre

Senior Lecturer & School of Counselling Academic Head

Leah, this is awesome, something to be really proud of. I am so glad you are here but more than that, that you are offering yourself and your expertise to the world. The world is clearly a better place for your presence. Thanks again for everything.

Janette Brien
Janette Brien

Rehabilitation Consultant

I would like to thank you for supporting me through your extensive supply of resources and experience in successfully completing the Foundations in Career Development Practice, CHCSS00005 Career Development Skills Set.

The facilitated delivery included a blend of monthly webinars, on-line resources and relevant workplace assignment tasks that have built my confidence to coach my clients toward achieving their desired goals.

Your feedback of my work was invaluable as it taught me to work smarter, more efficiently, providing me with more effective results and happier clients.

So, thank you very much for all your input over last 7 months!

Penny Azzi
Penny Azzi

Director, The Kazbah Group

I really enjoyed this training a lot and it was very beneficial not only to me but my organisation.  The course facilitator used her wealth of knowledge and experience to provide us with real examples that I could utilise within my organisation.  The content was user friendly and high quality. The support and guidance was outstanding throughout the program.  I would highly recommend this course and look forward to my next program with the course facilitator and the Team.

Tracey Walker
Tracey Walker

Learning and Development Manager, Ayers Rock Resort

I was lucky enough to have the course facilitator as my TAE trainer.  With a blended delivery of on-line content and weekly Skype one-on-one sessions, I found this learning experience to be one of the best of my adult life.  She set me challenges and workplace assignments that made the learning very relevant and effective.  Her various training techniques were both stimulating and innovative, which was extremely advantageous as I was able to use these same techniques with my Trainees.

Jack L. Harris
Jack L. Harris

Prof Emeritus

With Leah’s enthusiastic approach I was motivated to examine much more than the basic requirements of the course. Her depth of knowledge in this arena not only surprised me but empowered me to pursue all aspects of it to ensure I had a really good understanding of what it entailed. Leah had presented the course in a professional yet warm and personal way and which allowed her students to become closely acquainted with the subject. Her passion for helping others is highly evident and via this avenue she is able to encourage others to be the change they want to see in themselves and in the world around them.

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

Student, Foundations in Career Development Practice

I have been able to demonstrate many of the elements of the course immediately, and see the results in provoking the right conversations, as well as providing areas of focus that aid in alleviating tensions, and pointing toward solutions. Leah has pitched the course to comprehensively cover pertinent topics with her own flair, in a manner befitting high quality professional development. I would recommend it wherever applicable.


Hospitality and Retail

‘The courses are good. I enjoy studying online in my home. It is easier and preferable to going to university. Staff are supportive, assisting me to succeed.’



‘Leah is a wealth of information and useful in terms of teaching content. It has been vital to how we learn and apply the skills.’

Nikki McCartney
Nikki McCartney

Management Consultant

“I’m blown away! This is fabulous! The Foundations unit I looked at has so many great educational principles built in and all using that digital world so well.”

Counselling Testimonials



‘Leah, you have assisted me to broaden my career options beyond what I was considering.’



‘A real insight, I can see how far behind I was – beautiful!’



‘Leah, you have been absolutely invaluable today. Worth more than your weight in gold.’