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Passion And Calling In The World Of Work   
    Photo of Don Sutaria
June 2013   
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

I was inspired and motivated to write this special issue about Passion And Calling In The World Of Work because of interactions with my clients and an article in the FastCompany magazine. It may be worthwhile pondering where our professional lives are going. It may reveal our innermost identities and desires.

(A newly revised and enlarged program from CareerQuest)

In the present economy, CareerQuest wants to do its part and make a contribution.

Effective immediately we have reduced our pricing by 50%, from $200 per hour to $100 per hour!!

Details can be seen on our website,

50% off on all packages as also shown on our new website. New prices shown below.
  • Career Checkup and Rebalancing - $90
  • Resume Consultation - $50
  • Cover Letter Consultation - $50
  • Pre-interview Session - $50
  • Post-interview Marketing Letter Consultation - $50
  • Salary Negotiation - $50
  • Backpack to Briefcase - $50
  • Professional Career Advice - $50


The Dream Chaser Club
Do you need expert help, advice, tips, guidance, support or even a blueprint to launch your dream? Or, perhaps you’re already living your dream.

    Dream Chaser Club
Regardless of where you are in your journey, the Dream Chaser Club is the community for you! When you join the community, you will gain access to a wealth of advice, support and information from experts as well as others who have already accomplished their goals. The best part is, you’re NEVER can connect and receive support from others who are also on the same journey! Join today for FREE at

I will be the featured expert on this site for career coaching, life/work balance, and career assessment/finding your mission in life.

Columbia Career Coaches Network
CareerQuest is proud to announce that Don Sutaria has been accepted as one of the career coaches for Columbia alumni. Designed to give coaching advice to alumni by alumni, the Columbia Career Coaches Network is an invaluable tool to assist alumni in moving within your industry or to strike out in a completely new direction.

Contact Lindsay Hotaling at

Book Endorsement
We thank Richard Nelson Bolles for having the confidence to mention us in What Color Is Your Parachute? for eleven years in a row!

Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:

Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
  "Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."  

We are deeply grateful for his endorsement.

This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! It encapsulates at least fifty different career topics. Take a peek inside this book at before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

Over the past ten years, in our newsletters, we have presented you with articles on contemporary career topics. You can find the articles from the last five years in our Newsletter Archive on our website.

Career Doctor Don's Column
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit to read more.

CareerQuest's Blog
If you have not checked out our revamped blog recently, please do so. We have some interesting things to share with you. You can find it at Your feedback is always appreciated.

This international newsletter is also meant to be as a service to the career counseling community, for exchange of professional ideas. We encourage you to contribute an article or two as a guest writer; we shall be grateful.

Keep your feedback coming. We thank all of you who send in complimentary comments on the newsletter. We have responded to each and every one of you individually. Please feel free to share these newsletters with your friends, remembering to give us the due credit. Also, ask your friends to enroll for our free newsletter on our web site.

Until we meet again through the magic of email,

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

  Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: From Abacus to iPhone  
  The Latest from the CareerQuest Blog

Let's ask ourselves an honest question and try to give an honest answer.

Have we increased only our level of knowledge or truly gained in wisdom?

  How to Discover Your Passion and Calling in the World of Work  
  by Don Sutaria

Folks, check your coffee cups from Starbucks. You may find Po Bronson's quote—"Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever." Wow, how profound!

I can tell you from my recent personal experiences that Bronson's philosophy has a deep meaning in my professional life. I left a lucrative profession to "Do What You Love and Love What You Do." This sign is also prominently displayed in one of my doctor's offices.

In my private career counseling/coaching practice, I make my clients aware of three very useful books which are always displayed prominently on my desk. These are:
  1. What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson
  2. What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles
  3. It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now by Barbara Sher

(P.S. I would recommend these three books as valuable additions to the personal libraries of career counselors and career coaches. The insights gained from these books may also enable your clients to find their mission in life.)

This book published in 2002, What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson, has been on the bestseller list for a long time and rightfully so. It is a case study manual with more than fifty contemporary examples. It is the true story of people who answered the ultimate question.

Po Bronson has had first-hand experiences. He has worked as a busboy, cook, janitor, sports- medicine intern, assembly-line technician, aerobics instructor, litigation consultant, greeting-card designer, bond-salesman, political-newsletter editor, high school teacher, and book publisher. He has also written three other books.

"We all have passions if we choose to see them. Most of us don't get epiphanies. We don't get clarity. Our purpose does not arrive neatly packaged as destiny. We only get a whisper. A blank, non-specific urge. That's how it starts." - Po Bronson.

"The choice isn't about a career search so much as an identity quest."

Po was asking himself the same question: What should I do with my life? To find the answers, he criss-crossed through the length and breadth of America, listening intently to people. He found people who had struggled to find their true calling. These people came from various walks of life, all ages, all classes, all professions. They had found fulfillment. They successfully fought the seduction of money. They broke away from the world's chorus to hear the sound of their own soul.

The magic of this book lies in the fact that most of us have asked ourselves this question, in one form or another, many times, What should I do with my life? Life/Work balance is a very troubling question in our society. Reading this book is like eavesdropping on an intimate conversation among people whom you care about, respect, admire and wish to emulate. Some examples are:
  • A lawyer who decided to become a trucker to be closer to his son.
  • An immigrant who overcame the strong disapproval of her parents and quit her high-paying job to pursue social work.
  • A chemistry professor who realized quite late in life that he would rather practice law.
  • A mother sacrificing her Olympic career to nurture her adolescent daughter.
  • A seventeen-year boy who received a letter from the Dalai Lama and was called to a life of spiritual leadership.

Po's underlying thought throughout the whole book is that our misconceptions come from our fears, obvious questions don't have obvious answers, and that if we are bold and honest with ourselves, mighty forces will come to our aid. "The choice isn't about a career search so much as an identity quest," says Bronson.

He also clears a misperception: "There's this misperception that you're supposed to be looking for these frictionless environments. All jobs have work that you'll hate to do. Therefore, find something that you believe in so much that you'll be able to put up with it."

Po Bronson also makes a very clear statement in his book that "People don't succeed by migrating to a 'hot' industry or by adopting a particular career-guiding mantra. They thrive by focusing on the question of who they really are—and connecting that to the work they truly love."

I would go so far as to say that in some small way, the world will be different tomorrow, because of the choices we make today. By volunteering part-time or even full time up to one year for an organization similar to AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, or educational/religious/cultural/medical missions, we will get more than we give! Test out this axiom!

In the Fast Company October 2005 issue, Michael A Prospero enlightens us on a number of things. A recent Gallup Poll found that 55% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. Job satisfaction has steadily declined from nearly 60% in 1995, the beginning of the Internet boom, to 50% in 2004. As the Beatles have said, money can't buy you love.

"Know what you love to do,
and make that passion your work."

In What Color Is Your Parachute?, Richard N. Bolles has a wonderfully meaningful chapter as an epilogue called How to Find Your Mission in Life (God and One's Vocation). [Another synonym for Vocation is Calling.] It is one of the suggested readings for my clients, and I spend some time discussing it with them if they wish.

Bolles says: "Unemployment offers us a chance to marry our work and our religious beliefs together, to talk about Calling, and Vocation, and Mission in life—to think out why we are here, and what plans God has for us." He goes on to give us the secret of finding your mission in life. It is as follows:
  1. Your first Mission here on Earth is to seek to stand, hour by hour, in the conscious presence of God, the One from whom your Mission is derived.
  2. Your second Mission here on earth is to do what you can, moment by moment, day by day, step by step, to make this world a better place, following the leading and guidance of God's spirit within you and around you.
  3. Your third Mission here on earth is to exercise that Talent, your greatest gift, in a place that appeals to you the most, and for those purposes which God most needs to have done in this world.

Barbara Sher in her bestseller, It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now, presents a bold new strategy for creating a "second life"—no matter how old we are! She reminds us in a subtle way of the dreams we abandoned along the path to adulthood, some perhaps due to extenuating circumstances beyond our control.

But Sher will not let us get away easy. She tries to provide the tools we need to weave those suppressed aspirations into a richly textured, rewarding new life. According to Sher, it's never too late to start over. She asserts that in fact, life's "second half" is the perfect time to do so, when dreams for the future and experiences of the past finally come together. This way we can experience passion and adventure, gifts and greatness.

Sher makes it abundantly clear that it's never too late to reclaim your creativity, recapture long-lost dreams, and embark on an exciting life! She provides blueprints on how to make life's built-in "time limit" work for us, how to identify and overcome the illusions that stand between us and our dreams, which of our "regrets" can point the way to a more rewarding life, how we can rediscover the inspired adventurer within us, and a multitude of ways to recapture our freedom for embarking on a new beginning.

Steve Jobs of Apple is a modern day icon. Many of us have been touched by Apple computers and iPods. But did you know that Apple's co-founder is the "Other Steve," Steve Wozniak? He is also known as the "Wizard of Woz."

Steve Wozniak spoke recently to students at Columbia University, (my alma mater), in New York City. His central message was: Know what you love to do, and make that passion your work. He also said: "Life is about how many times you laugh versus how many times you frown."

Steve Wozniak initially accepted a job with Hewlett-Packard, an engineering-driven company, where he was hired as an engineer to develop scientific calculators during a leave of absence from college. Once Wozniak had perfected the Apple I, he approached Hewlett-Packard executives for commercial introduction. He was told they were not interested in his computer design, leaving him free to develop and sell it himself.

In 1976, he and Steve Jobs had become well acquainted and formed Apple Computers. The rest is history! Their first order was from a local store for 50 Apple I computers. For the first time, the Apple I was a computer designed to be intuitive with icons, and with a keyboard to input data that became immediately viewable on a screen. That was a quantum leap in personal computers! Within a short time, Steve Wozniak developed the first color computer, the Apple II.

At some point in time, after you have done a self-analysis, you may want to consider private sessions with a career counselor or a career coach. Make sure you talk with at least two to three counselors. See if you have personal chemistry with them. One indication is their willingness to explain their approach over the telephone patiently for 15-20 minutes. Study their website, testimonials and case studies. References are sometimes hard to come by because of confidentiality.

Don't be lured into signing any package deals or contracts. Good ones charge $100-$200 per hour, contact time. Career assessment and finding the right career fit may take 6-8 hours. Counselors also work several hours behind the scenes for developing your evaluations, after they meet with you in person. Take the exercises which the career counselor gives you very seriously. It may be a listing of your personal and professional accomplishments, plus 5-10-15-20-25-30-year plans for your life.

Written evaluations and recommendations based on the tests you take (usually one to three) are a must! Please understand that the results of these tests are only litmus paper indications and not cast in stone. The competence of the counselor interacting with you and evaluating your needs and strengths is paramount! My opinion is that a career counselor needs to meet with you at least once in person prior to telephone and e-mail counseling. Virtual counseling, especially in groups, has its limitations.

Now it's time for a pop-quiz! Get your paper and pencil ready! On your mark, get set, go!

During the next three minutes, answer the following question from your heart (not from your mind!):

"If someone gave you $20 million (free and clear of taxes) today, what would you really do with your life?"

In other words, if money was taken out of the equation for living, what would be your true identity?

Tough question but very revealing; isn't it?


Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Find me on LinkedIn Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
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