A group of celebrities on a recent TV program seemed to clearly know their vocation. One of them said, “I saw someone do ‘stand-up’ comedy and at that moment I knew that it was for me”. Another one always knew they would be a journalist and yet another, an actor. It got me reflecting on my choices and if there had been any sense of vocation from a young age. The short answer is NO! I did have some false starts though, or trial runs…
- In high school I took all the right subjects to enable me to become a nurse. I nearly went down that path as I was accepted into two training hospitals in Melbourne. I am so pleased I didn’t go through with it. I think nursing is a very worthy and noble profession but I believe I wasn’t cut out for it. One of the main reasons I didn’t accept the offers was the idea of doing shift work. That had no appeal.
- Retail – this was more about paying the bills and enabling me to stay in the City and not return home to Mum and Dad and admit failure at achieving independence. I was reasonably good at sales but dealing with the public day in and day out was pretty challenging.
- Teaching English as a Second Language – now this was something that I really enjoyed. I had no training but used my knowledge of language plus some intuition and had some good outcomes.
- Office work – again I was self-taught as I didn’t do any commercial subjects at school. Administration is much more attractive with the advance of computers and the latest software but it doesn’t really excite me at all!
- A good government job came along in 1993. My skills and knowledge were a good match with the job description but it was really the pay and conditions that kept me in that job for 17 years. I worked in the employment and training field in regional areas of Western Australia.
- That brings me up to 2010 when I resigned from the State Government and commenced a journey of self-employment. My work today requires good writing skills, good computer literacy and good customer relations.
Perhaps the idea of a job for life or a vocation is not as relevant today. We need to be flexible and keep learning and adapting to support our relevance and our skills. When I was working in employment and training we used to tell people that most of the jobs of the future have not been invented yet due to the pace of change due to technology and globalisation. I still think that is true today.
So, did you have an “aha!” moment when you realised what you wanted to do, or has it just evolved over the years?
PS I get a lot of pleasure out of my blog – not just the writing but the technology in putting it all together. I probably enjoy that more than I have ever enjoyed the workplace!