One of my core values is striving to coach and equip people in a way that helps them to thrive, reaching and exceeding their personal and professional goals and discovering new ones along the way. I spend most of my time at work coaching people 1×1, and there’s nothing I love doing more as a talent development professional. And the most fruitful coaching sessions, I have found, arise when I have the privilege of being a thought partner with an individual who has discovered or is in the proess of discovering his or her vocation.
Vocation, from my perspective, is ultimately about a spiritual (not religious) calling. It’s a larger sense of purpose and joy, constantly fueled by learning and fresh efforts. Parker Palmer asserts in Let Your Life Speak that vocation “becomes an act of will, a grim determination that one’s life will go this way or that whether it wants to or not…vocation does not mean a goal that I will pursue. It means a calling that I hear.”
Such a calling stirs us to certain core activities that, in general, tend to revolve around our work itself as well as constant growth, community building, and various forms of networking. An outgrowth of a sustainable calling is a desire to see stronger families and neighborhoods, more economic development, thriving non-profits, and so forth. When true calling is entrenched within our hearts, we are not just satisfied with our own success, but with the holistic progress of the planet. Our work is also at its best, I believe, when it is truly a stewardship of our strengths: a dynamic confluence of our natural talents, ongoing knowledge, and accumulated experiences.
When we know what we do best and actually do it every day, the “ideal job” is at hand and we remain vibrantly engaged because we aren’t “going to work” but participating in an unfolding calling. If you haven’t yet arrived at a place where your job mirrors your vocation, reach out to a coach (not necessarily your “boss,” but someone willing to invest time and thought partnership with you) to help you gain clarity on what you would love to do more of and begin to chart a course.
Growing Your Strengths
I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose examples of applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.
These characters face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.
Until, however, each of these individuals chooses to do something new: practicing mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling habits, and growing them into strengths…strengths that respond to change rather than just react.
Strengths that you can develop as well.
Don’t settle for the confusion, distraction, and stress. You’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.
Choose to do something new. Today. Start with this post, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive free, exclusive content via email each month with timely guidance on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling.