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What Does Vocation Mean?

“Vocation” is the word we use to describe a calling or work that you are called to do. It used to refer only to religious work. But now vocation applies to anyone who works within their purpose. Working within your vocation means, it is likely that you enjoy the work that you do. Work satisfaction is important as you look for the next job that you want.

Your vocation, or purpose, is something that is a theme for your entire life, not just work. It is the type of service that you like to provide and the human segments you will serve, protect, or heal. That may sound vague, so let’s dive a little deeper.

Your purpose is present in every area of your life. It is:

  • Fun
  • Absorbing
  • Energizing
  • Fulfilling
  • Something that fits you absolutely

You are pursuing your purpose when:

  • You enjoy getting up in the morning to prepare for work
  • You can see your work contributions
  • Your income meets your needs and goals
  • Your relationships are satisfying
  • You feel healthy and energetic
  • You feel good about yourself

Let’s spend a little time reflecting on what is important to you and write your thoughts in the guide

Think of the things you love to do when you have spare time. What are they?

What parts of your present job and other things you regularly do are particularly enjoyable?

What are your ten biggest successes? These are not necessarily the same ones that other people might pick for you.

Is there a cause, value, or skill that you feel very passionate about?

What would you be doing right now if you knew you could not fail?

This is a good time to pause and reflect on these questions.

Job Satisfaction Review

How do you feel about your current or most recent job? Are — or were — you happy with it, or do you still feel as if you are figuring out what to do for the rest of your life?

Sometimes we take a job to fill a short-term need or without much planning, and then we work there for a while, or even 20 years, before thinking it was not what we had planned for the rest of our careers. Other people seem to love their jobs no matter what they do. There are others who seem to hate every job no matter what they do.

The next exercise will provide insight into where you are today, and how much you could like your next job if you approach your search with a strategy in mind.

You will find a Job Satisfaction Review survey in your guide. Indicate how you feel about each item in the list, where 1 means you strongly disagree, 2 agree some of the time or 3 agree strongly.


Now, add up the scores. There are 15 statements, so your score should range between 15 and 45.

If you scored 40 or higher, you are probably pretty satisfied at your current, or most recent, job. You can also probably adjust to a new work situation fairly easily because you target work that meets your purpose and values.

If you scored between 25 and 39, you are somewhat satisfied with your most recent or last job, but not supercharged about it. You will need to do some internal work on achieving satisfaction about work – your contributions, your reactions, and your satisfaction at being someone who works. This can be helped along by doing work that meets your purpose and values.

If you scored below 24, your satisfaction level is very low. Doing exercises like the ones in this course may help, but you could also consider other supports that will help you to find work and design a life that reflects the things that you believe in and the type of work that is very important to you. Reading other material in the self-development area and working with a personal coach are both good ways to help you figure out what you want as well as uncover things that make you happy.