If our work is simply a means of becoming paid and we do not enjoy or have success at what we do, then the notion of a career can seem very remote. Yet, if we can move beyond simply the financial compensation and find work that we do well and which makes us feel good about ourselves, it should be possible to find a calling in doing just about anything that is moral and ethical so long as we can connect it to our sense of calling. The idea that some jobs have more worth or dignity than others should be as foreign to us as the idea that some people are more important or valuable. What we do know is that when we reach a certain threshold financially, when we are paid enough to meet our need and then perhaps an amount more on top that allows us some of the luxuries of life, most of us become much more motivated in our work when we have a sense of mastery over the competencies we exercise, a feeling of autonomy over our choices, and an enduring connection to a purpose that is greater than or at least goes beyond us.
A disposition towards career allows us to take this type of motivation in whatever field or fields in which we are engaged over time and put together a set of choices that will also change in due course as to how we might grow our capacity to do this and other work successfully and meaningfully. In other words, if we can align our jobs with a clear sense of who we are, if we can align our practice with our purpose and take into account our people and our place along the way, then we have a much greater chance that we will see whatever it is that we do as a vocation, something that we called to do and in which we might take great satisfaction and show genuine gratitude and appreciation for the benefits it brings to us and those around us. It may not be the perfect job or the most high-paying job. The conditions may not be ideal, nor may we get everything we want from it. Yet it is our calling, something with which we can put everything else into context as we seek to serve our families, friends and communities throughout our lives on The Pathway to Excellence.
We can contemplate our Disposition Toward Career by considering the following questions:
- Do I seek to develop a career journey that I find fulfilling and that affirms my sense of purpose?
- Do I know that I may well change my “career” many times, and that it is the purpose-driven journey that matters?
- Do I know that I need to be adaptable and engage in life-long learning in order to upgrade my knowledge and develop my competencies?
- Do I have a growth mindset in terms of developing my skills and competencies to meet new challenges and to acquire new knowledge?
Am I optimistic about my career development and pathway, even if I know that it will involve both ups and downs?