Work It


Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Years ago while watching Project Runway I was very impressed by the then-unknown Christian Siriano, who as a finalist was preparing a collection for Fashion Week in his itty-bitty shoebox of an apartment that had room for only his sewing machine and creations. There was no furniture, he slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of the closet/hallway. Now a successful and respected designer because he lived, breathed, and loved what he does, Christian surely found a way to “Make It Work!”

Many of my clients in career transition find that this time is usually accompanied by or is a result of an identity crisis. Either their job consumed them so much that they forgot who they were, or their only sense of self came from the title and salary they received, and now that it’s gone they are a bit lost, or they are not sure how they ended up doing what they were doing in the first place and don’t want to do the same thing going forward.

Therefore, with unemployment at its highest in many years*, we are reaching an epidemic proportion of people who are quite disoriented [now due to the COVID era]. But, the good news is that if you use this opportunity to do some internal work you can really put yourself on the right track to the livelihood you were meant to have all along.

Much of what I do is help people discover that you are not your job. However, when you discover who you are, your labor is just a natural extension of yourself, of what you do, what you bring to this table of life. In other words, being employed and doing your work are two different things, which may or may not coincide at any particular time. The most important thing is to allow yourself to constantly evolve and do what you do, regardless of a paycheck or the environment.

For me, the only way I could exist was to make my employment and my work coincide. It’s not a path for the faint of heart; it has been, and continues to be, a fascinating, challenging yet thoroughly rewarding journey. But with all the ups and downs and unknowns, at the end of the day, just about every day, I know I am doing my work, and the love of that work fuels every area of my life. This is the true American dream.

So this month, why not Show Me What You Got with the ingenuity of Missy Elliott and the attitude of Snow White’s dwarfs. Not sure what it is or how to find a way to do the work that makes you feel most alive no matter what? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you create a life that is a pure labor of love!


*Originally published on on July 12, 2011

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker, and author who for over 14 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large. With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

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