Mention the word vocation and the first thing that springs to mind is entering the Church. That’s not such a popular option these days and it’s not the only meaning of vocation.
A vocation is an occupation to which you are specially drawn or suited. So how is this different to an authentic vocation which is the topic of this blog? Is the latter more real than the former? The authentic definition takes the scope of your vocation a couple of steps further. The process of defining your authentic vocation uncovers your inner motivations and helps you to make the shift towards a career that is aligned with your dreams and passions.
There are key elements in understanding your vocation. It is simple to appreciate why they would contribute to that concept. Here are some of those elements which would be reviewed as part of that process.
Your Life Purpose. It’s the reason for why we exist and how we best use that reason for fulfilment, and for furthering our goals. It doesn’t have to be something as broad as brokering world peace but if finding peaceful solutions to conflicts is something that lights your passion, that is the first clue to your vocation.
Values. These are the guiding principles or tenets by which we live our lives and interact with others. They will influence both our thoughts and our actions. I know that in every team building exercise, you have probably had to come up with the team or corporate values which will provide the framework for operations and there can be some cynicism about the reference to values when corporate deeds are not seen to match the corporate word. Don’t let that experience deter you.
Even though you may not have given it much consideration, you will have your own value system. If you want to explore your personal values, you will find a long list of options on this site. There are far more suggestions that you probably would have considered without prompting. Our world peace broker mentioned earlier might list stability as one of their key values. *
Motivators and interests. Motivators are the factors which make us get out of bed in the mornings. They are interdependent on our interests. The greater our level of interest, the higher our motivation will be. Whether or not we are interested in or motivated by our job will influence our performance level and satisfaction.
Motivators in the workplace may relate to the level of autonomy that we have, the social interaction with others, and the ability to progress. Financial consideration is always important but is not necessarily the prime motivator.
Personal motivators will relate to achieving particular goals that have relevance to us. Those motivators will be different for each person. There can be both negative and positive motivators that influence your actions and decisions.
Knowledge Base, skills and abilities. Our existing knowledge, skills and abilities will influence our future options. A self-assessment will either identify a shortfall in knowledge or skills, or will identify those attributes that we can use to our future benefit. There are two types of competency: behavioural and functional.
There are online tools that can help you to make those assessments but keep in mind that personal assessments are sometimes not very objective. We can both under-rate as well as over-rate our skills and abilities. It can be helpful to run your self-assessment past someone in whom you have trust and who will be objective in giving you constructive feedback. The world peace broker might like to consider the strength of their negotiating skills.
This site will give you some direction in what to consider when reviewing your own knowledge, skills and abilities.
On meeting kids for the first time, a common question is ‘And what do you want to be when you grow up?’ but it is a topic of concern throughout our working career and well into retirement. You may feel that you still have no idea, even though by conventional definition you are now ‘grown up’.
The good news is that you are not alone. The better news is that you can do something about it. Career coaching can assist you in identifying the stepping stones to your authentic vocation and the career that it supports.
In the next blog I’ll review additional elements to finding your authentic vocation. In the meantime, what have you identified as your core values and why are they important to you? I’d love to know.
* Wearing my hat as a Marriage Celebrant, I am often asked if I get a feel for whether or not a marriage will be a success. That is a hard question but I have noticed that people who have identified that they have similar values go into that marriage with the greatest confidence.
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