Jobs, Career, Vocation

Vocation as a concept is much older and broader than current ideas of career or job. Your career, or your job, or your work, is a part of fufilling vocation – an important part, but people fulfill vocation in hobby activities, volunteer and service work, and in retirement – aswell as in paid work. Anne Frank fulfilled her vocation by keeping a diary.

Your career or job is not your vocation per se, It’s a vehicle for pursuing your vocation. It’s important that any job or significant activity , allow you to pursue your calling because whether you are conscious or not of it, you will always try to pursue it. (even if your boss doesn’t approve) For example, my vocation is creatively raising others conscious awareness (especially as to wounding) and inspiring/teaching/healing. At one time I prepared taxes for others. Although I had the aptitude for the work, I had a chronic low grade headache the entire time that I did it, because my clients just wanted their taxes done- they didn’t want to know anything more than the size of their refund. I had a very difficult client, who although he was complaining about the high fees, really was unhappy because he didn’t understand his taxes well enough to do them himself. I happily spent an hour giving him as much information as possible so he could do his own next year, regardless of the reality that it was not in my economic interest to do so. There is that element about vocation that you will do it whether you get paid for it or not, so its vitally important that you find a field where you can get paid for it. For example, let’s say that you have a talent in languages and diplomacy, and are thinking of work as a career government diplomat. However, your vocational profile leads you to “nurturing those who are wounded economically”. Now then, any job that you take in the field of international diplomocy must support that. If your job required you to ignore the needs of the poor, say for the sake of political expediency, then you would either not be able to do that, or you would feel a profound sense of dis-ease in that job. A job working for a non profit organization helping to resettle refuges would suit you much better.

People who think in terms of career alone, though, don’t understand this. They assume that they or others should be happy in any career which pays the most money for whatever training, or talents they possess.

A job that goes to college is still not a vocation.

Career is been referred to as a job that went to college, requiring more prerequisites   than a job, and often conveying more status. Jobs,on the other hand are sometimes pursueded primarily for money. Generally people pursuing careers are happier, than those working at jobs – unless the job allows them to practice their vocation.

Research shows that people in careers without a sense of vocation are less happy in their work, than people with jobs with a sense of vocation. People are equally likely to find vocations with jobs or in careers.

Your vocation is correlated with specific careers or jobs but not limited to one – many successful people have pursued several careers,but always with a particular orientation .

Lee Iacocca’s vocational profile is that of a visionary leader solving crisis, and initiating change. He did lead Chrysler out of a severe financial crisis, and introduced the minivan, as well as the Ford Mustang to the American public, but also currently is CEO of a worldwide company which is building electric bicycles, and has a book and website addressing the lack of leadership in America, and the lag in solving the health care and global warming crisis. Pursueing his vocation did not end with his retirement from Chrysler, or limit him to being an executive- he is also an author and public speaker.

Deepak Chopra’s vocational profile is heavily oriented toward the eight house (rulers of his 2nd, 6th, and 10th houses conjunct in theeight house). In astrology the eight house has to do with metaphysics, science, psychology, conflict, and healing. He describes his purpose in life as “to heal, to make every one I come into contact with happy, and to create peace”- an apt description for a physician who has done pioneering work in the mind-body connection in illness. He works in two separate occupations- one as a practicing physician, and the other as a writer, but always with this eighth house emphasis.

Careers are static. Vocation is not. If you are made redundent as the British say, (laid off to Americans), then a certain career may be over, but your vocation isn’t. In these current hard times, their isn’t any longer a need for houses, but the world’s deep hungers are still present, perhaps even greater; they have simply changed. The recent college graduate’s dream job hasn’t evaporated, its just changed.

Vocation is about fulfilling the world’s needs. As those needs change,people are naturally called to different careers – all consistent with their numerous talents and vocational profile.There is an illusion now, with rising unemployment that there is less need for workers. This is not so. There is just a sudden change in the kinds of workers needed. Right now, people with financial skills are being called to fix our current system, to serve as regulators, to help those in financial distress to be able to restructure their finances -instead of selling credit cards, and home mortgages.

Career is vocation thought of in terms of ego, and fear rather than love. In planning careers, people think of competing with others, and of status and prestige; of climbing the corporate ladder. They live in a world of finite resources. To paraphrase Bill Gates, they think of getting as big a piece of the pie as possible, instead of growing the pie. When enough people do that over time, the pie gets smaller and we all suffer. The executives at Merrill Lynch, and Lehman knew what they were doing wasn’t sustainable- they weren’t stupid or incompetent. They simply where focusing on their careers at the expense of their vocations.

Finally, while careers/jobs follow a trajectory of a rise and then a fall, your vocation gets better and better defined, and deeper as time passes. Vocation is a reflection of what you are striving to be, as opposed to what you are, therefore its not so much a destination in life, as it is a journey, and it’s not so much whether you have arrived, but whether you are on the right path. For more about the never ending aspect of vocation click on the article, “Vocation thru youth, midlife, retirement and old age.” or click here to find out more about my vocational astrology services or here to get an overview of