Job vs. Vocation

In previous parts, I touched upon some aspects of the unprecedented circumstances that provided me with the impetus to change the way I thought about myself as well as adjust to the burgeoning world around me as a result of moving to a new country. Today, I shall attempt to elucidate the difference between job and vocation. Before I descend to the particulars, I shall warn the reader to not misconstrue my character as someone with full possession of knowledge or someone with authority on the subject. I am quite simply sharing with you whatever little I have gleaned so far.

In my opinion, it’s of paramount importance for an individual to find his or her way in life. This discovery of a general direction or the urge to pursue an inclination in life is, I believe, not without its risks. On the one hand, it can, at least in the long run, bring a person closer to happiness or whatever is commonly associated with that concept. On the other hand, this quest for meaning – for so it appears to me – is usually followed by all sorts of negative experiences and can cause major upheavals. It can’t be denied that whether positive or negative, bad or good, stressful or otherwise, experiences ultimately serve, as one would hope, to motivate the determined seeker to forge ahead. However, truth be told it’s an arduous journey. I have observed many who grew tired or lacked courage, which is merely impatience in one form or other, to continue and abandoned whatever it was they were so ardently seeking hitherto. These defeated warriors then went on to find a regular job to meet the harsh practicalities of life. They are not to be blamed for this. In fact, it’s only common sense to do so.

I am not implying that I was always sensible of the difference between job and vocation. On the contrary, it took me a lot of years of grappling and countless failures to get a grip on it. And if it’s any consolation, I still haven’t fully deciphered this riddle. It was when I was introduced to the world of philosophy, art, and literature I first became cognisant of the fact that there is something called vocation. Vocation is primarily ‘a calling’ instead of a job. Essentially, I understand vocation to be indistinguishable from life. I would go so far as to submit that I hardly find any point of divergence between vocation and destiny as they both coincide with one’s purpose in life. In my humble opinion, they are one and the same. I suppose this where the paucity of modern education system becomes tangible as it fails to impart even a vague understanding of it.

Harry @Misao

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