If you think about, we do some weird things for money.
We put ourselves through years of gruelling study, after choosing a course, a university, specific subjects, work part time at the same time as writing assignments, actually writing assignments the night before they are due, find a job and then work in that job to make money.
Then we realise we don’t like that job and find another job that makes more money.
Then work more hours than necessary to progress our way up in the organisation to another job, that pays even more money with even longer hours.
This is a career. It could lead us to spend our entire working life climbing our way up the ladder only to discover that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.
But what if there is another way?
What if, instead of a career, we searched for a vocation, which is almost a calling, something that you can find significant fulfillment in. You can still climb the ladder, but it is leaning up against a more meaningful wall.
To tell the difference between a career and a vocation comes down to our motivation. If money is the main thing that you are aiming for then you could be happy with a career, but if a sense of purpose in your work is important then a vocation may be what you are after.
The real test to see if you are working in a career or a vocation is this…
If you didn’t need the salary anymore, would you still work in that job?
If so, then it is probably a vocation.
Sometimes the cost of a vocation is a lower wage, but if you are willing to sacrifice that then it is all worth it.
In all of this, I find myself wondering about how this philosophy works in developing countries. For someone living on less than $2.50 a day, is this even something that they have the opportunity to think about?