What exactly is passion? And how can we align it to our everyday work?

In this series, we meet the everyday people living life to the greatest potential by aligning passion to their work.

We meet people who have been able to turn their passions into a career or a career into a passion. They have been able to find value in something they love and live giving their values to others.

Noelene Vagg has been able to do exactly that. She works with adults in disabilities, ranging from autism, down syndrome, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and epilepsy. As a coach, she helps adults enhance their independence, enrich their lives and from this, her life is enriched in return.

Promote This: Thank you for speaking with us Noelene. So when did you decide to take a leap into this role?
Noelene: I decided to take the leap into my new role when I wanted to make a difference in the lives of adults who have a disability. I have worked with newborns assisting in delivering babies, with toddlers in child care centres and assisted with children that have disabilities in primary schools, helping them integrate into mainstream education for 18 years. An opportunity to then help adults with disabilities became available and I couldn’t say no! I was a bit nervous venturing into this role but I realised that there was a need to help people achieve their goals and also to be heard. It was quite daunting because I didn’t have the confidence at the time that I would be able to make a difference, but I decided that I had to take the plunge and give it a go.

What an amazing opportunity it has been. While some days can be difficult, I know that it is important to help people focus on their talents and achieve as much as possible. The things that we take for granted, like communication, socialising and participating in daily tasks can be quite challenging for my clients, but listening, respecting and encouraging these adults to have a go at what they want to achieve in life is so rewarding. Their sense of humour and determination to be accepted into the wider community is inspiring.

Promote This: So how important do you think it is to do something you are passionate about?

Noelene: It is extremely important to do what you are passionate about because you know that it will fulfil your wants and needs. My passion lies in making a difference and to make sure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities that we have. Every day I head into work thinking about what we can achieve for the day.

Promote This: How can we all learn to align passion in our work each day?

Noelene: To have passion in your life everyday is to work in an environment that is positive where you can help the people around you, work as a team and see the good in everyone. You also can’t be afraid of change. If you wake up every morning not wanting to go to work, you need to ask yourself if this is really what you want to be doing, and think about what you can do to change this. I took the chance and even had to return to studying for a while, because I knew that I had a passion for people with autism and disabilities.

Promote This: What are some of the important things that you have learnt in your work?

Noelene: I think most people with disabilities are misunderstood. Next time you see someone with a disability, smile and say hello and watch them get excited and smile back. Just because a person can’t communicate, doesn’t mean that they can’t understand. Don’t see the disability, see the person. We can all make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and we need to help make this difference together.

Feeling passionate and making a difference is such an exciting and rewarding experience. I don’t believe that life is about your status, your money or having the best of everything. I don’t need a flashy car or a big home, I need to see a client with a smile on their face who has just realised that someone has understood them, that someone cares and someone has taken the time out of their day to make a difference in their lives.

I feel like I been able to achieve so much by working with people with disabilities and knowing that you are able to make a huge impact in a positive way is why I am so passionate about what I do.”