Drudgery vs. Vocation

When distilled to the purest form, the reason that we work is to support ourselves and our family.  Luckily the types of jobs available are almost as varied as the number of people, so with effort and a touch of luck a person should be able to find a means to meet this basic need at a job that suits the person’s personality and abilities.


Back when the weather was cold, I wrote this piece about Vocation.  As I interact with other job seekers, we think and talk quite a bit about the world of work and how strongly we would like to get back into feeling productive.  And the different tactics that we are all trying out to achieve this goal.


Which then, at least in my thoughts (and I hope that you stick with me here) rolls along through the recently concluded graduation season; celebrations of completed effort and future choice.  My own thoughts on graduation speeches lean more toward the boring monotonal endurance tests or fiery bully pulpit grabbers of my past, until I read this post from a fellow blogger:  Oprah’s Advice for New Grads where she professes a love of commencement speeches.  My own take-away is this love is based on the hope and promise inherit in these moments, before paychecks and bills and homeownership, etc. take over the lives of these new grads.


A few days later, this offering showed up in my reader from another blogger that I follow: Bad Graduation Advice, where he is putting forth the realistic viewpoint that having these famous speakers fill the heads of new graduates with hope and promise denies their future reality.  An ‘everyman’ type should be a graduation speaker because, “I’m also the person that most graduates will become (or should hope to become).”.  He goes on to say that most jobs ‘suck’.


drudgeryAll of this got me pondering about drudgery and vocation, hence my title.  None of us should hope to rise to such lofty heights that we entirely leave drudgery behind.  (The unpleasant rote jobs; necessary but never lauded.)  Drudgery keeps us grounded, and made Mike Rowe famous.


Drudgery aside, we should each make an effort to find a job that we can do day after day to support ourselves that suits our personality and traits.  Then we can feel a sense of purpose, of fulfilling a vocation.


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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