Discerning Your Vocation

There is a reason why I chose the title ‘Discerning Your Vocation’ over simply ‘Choosing Your Career’.  Whether you are just starting to think about a career, or whether you have been working for years and often find yourself suffering from the Sunday night/Monday morning blues, and are wondering if you made the right career choice, this blog applies to you.  You deserve to have a worklife that you love, and the key to finding it is in listening to your depths.

You are completely unique in your interests, your passions, and your talents.  These aren’t qualities that you chose; they are simply part of who you are, and they are the best guides for finding a career that suits you. There is a saying that artists never retire, and what is being spoken of here is passion and creativity, the very things that give our lives meaning, gets us out of bed in the morning, and keeps us engaged with life.  We are all artists of something, and you serve yourself and the world best if you can make a career out of that which you love.

In my years of helping people to make career discernments, I have found that very often my role has been about helping people to give themselves permission to acknowledge what they already know, but have covered over with ‘that will never work’ or ‘it’s too late’.  It’s not too late, and you have to give your dream a chance!  When you let yourself respond to the yearnings of your depths, your heart, from there do you get the energy to go back to school part time, to practice and practice to get it right, or to put loving touches on the product.  When you have passion for what you do, you are set up for success because putting in the time and effort to become great at it feels like a privilege and not ‘work’.

Sometimes seeing the match between what you love to do and what the market needs is obvious. Other times you may need to apply some investigation and creativity to find the match, but allow yourself to play, and to approach the puzzle with optimism, curiosity, and an open mind.

One thing that history has shown us is that the face of work is always changing.  The career choice that seemed like a sure bet becomes obsolete.  Whole industries radically change, shrink, or disappear.  Some shifts can be foretold; others come as more of a surprise.  To me, this is further evidence that you are best to follow your heart first rather than making a ‘head’ decision about what appears to be a lucrative/stable career.  Choose something that you feel passionate about as the core of your work, and then remain loyal to your skillset; continuously build on it, develop it, and refine it.  Then, as the market changes, you will have a mastery that affords you foresight, and a richness that allows you to adapt.