What Kind of Career is for You?

November 9, 2012  By Linda Hardenstein and Jonathan Rogers

It’s been said that a third of your life will be spent in an occupation. Most of us will spend at least 40 percent or more of our years at some occupation to just pay the bills. No matter how you slice it, a career and working is a huge part of your life. For some of us, finding satisfying, fulfilling work can be a pursuit fraught with anxiety, frustration and disappointment.

Take a moment and think about how you refer to your current occupation.  Do you call it:

  1. the daily grind
  2. work
  3. a job
  4. a living
  5. employment
  6. an occupation
  7. a profession
  8. a career
  9. a vocation
  10. a calling

This simple exercise can reveal a lot about how you personally feel about your current occupation. It is the latter portion of this scale: career, vocation or calling that most of us idealize, strive for, or at the very least dream about.  Interestingly, even among these descriptions there is a difference.

The dictionary defines a career as a job you decide to do for a living.  It also means running at full speed, which inherently conjures visions of a “horse race” with lots of competition and striving for advancement.

The word vocation on the other hand comes from a Latin word meaning “to call” and carries the idea of a voice summoning you for a special or unique purpose. It can be argued that a vocation is what we all naturally seek — that thing that we know we were meant to do.

Who’s Doing the Calling?
In short, you are. It’s the voice within that might say: “This is not what I want to do with my life. I have to get out! But what can I do? How will I pay the bills?” Or it might say: “I love my job, but I hate what I do!” Meaning that the overall concept of your occupation is great but what your job description requires does not resonate with who you are inside. Either way, it’s a nagging voice that reminds you that something is just not right.

What Can You Do About It?
Let’s face it, spending your life in a job or career you don’t like doesn’t make you very happy. Instead of feeling trapped and remaining unfulfilled in a career, why not discover your calling? Begin by joining us for this FREE teleseminar: bit.ly/RK8fNy.

A job or a calling? What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC is an expert career strategist and certified coach who helps professionals discover the career that is the right fit for them and provides the practical tools for them to land the job they want.