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Vocation or Career

By Steve Jones,

Career: an individual's journey through learning, work, and other aspects of life.

Vocation: an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited, trained, or qualified.

Which one describes your current employment situation? How do you feel about the technical work you do? A career is a good thing, and I hope that you all have long, successful careers, I hope you continue to learn and maintain a balance between work and your life outside of your job.

However a vocation is what I'd hope drives you forward. You find some endeavor that you are drawn towards, and at which you have some skill at performing. As much as I never planned to be a technical writer, I find that I am really drawn to it, and I enjoy the work quite a bit. I'd say the same thing about speaking and presenting to groups of technical workers. My employment is more of a vocation, and certainly much more than "just a job."

As you go to work, accomplish tasks and finish projects, think about what you like and don't like. Think about whether you look forward each day to the challenges you face or you dread each hour. If it's the latter, then I hope you are making plans to change something. Find a new employer or position. Life is short and you need to remember that you'll spend a lot of your time at work. Make what you do a vocation and work becomes an exciting piece of your life that enriches your time here.

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