Surely I am not the only person out there to have heard the phrase, “When are you going to get a real job? One with a real paycheck?”. In the last year since I forged head first into pursuing my passions, I have heard it countless times. I do think it is way easier for us Gen X’ers and Millennial’s to forge ahead without “real jobs” than for our parents. Today I want to discuss vocation vs. occupation.

NOW HIRING: a dedicated individual with a vision that most other individuals do not understand; a passion for what you do; an inherent skill set to complete the tasks at hand; no specific degree required; must love what you do. Compensation is immeasurable and the benefit package is priceless.

Have you ever heard the words vocation and occupation and wondered what is the difference? will tell you that vocation is a particular occupation, business or profession; a calling. A strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career. It describes an occupation as a persons usual or principle work, especially as a means of earning a living.

Calling vs. earning a living.  Now I get why I hear the “real job” phrase so much. Is it only intended for us to pursue our “callings” on the side and not seek them to be our “means to live”?  I suppose that is only a question that YOU can answer for yourself based on your vocation.

I make it no secret that I believe we should pursue our dreams and dream big while doing it. I also believe that we are each created in our uniqueness to house an inherent set of gifts to fulfill purposes in our lives.

Reasons we don’t pursue vocations [according to Jen]:

  • We are flat out scared! There is a ton of unknowns out there and the “what if” game cripples our ability to pursue the dream.
  • There is risk involved. Yes there is. There is also risk getting in a car to drive to the grocery store. What’s your point?
  • No one will understand me and therefore won’t support me. Perhaps there will be those folks in your life. But, they might just surprise you. I still don’t know if anyone understands my pursuit but I do know that they support me because they genuinely care for me.
  • I have responsibilities. Who doesn’t? I don’t want to suggest that you throw caution to the wind without a plan in place. But, I do want to suggest that we live with a limiting mentality instead of an abundant mentality. Fear again tells us why we can’t have or do instead of believing in the possibility of truth. This is the time to play the “what if” game the right way. What if...I could increase what I do for my family and those around me. What if…I enjoyed working every day. What if...I didn’t get panic attacks every Sunday night because I knew what Monday morning would bring. What if…my life became more enjoyable and I had more freedom. What if…I missed my opportunity in life to change the world.
  • I am too busy. Really? That is what you want to go with? I remember a time before I had kids. I was very, very young and had a ton of free time on my hands [in retrospect] and didn’t know how I could possibly take care of another human being with my schedule.Then came Jacob – a kid who didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2. A kid with high energy and a mouth that didn’t stop. [No commentary here – I know where he gets it!] And all of the sudden, I thought “What in the world did I do with my time before him?!” It’s all relative. It is a perspective shift. Plus, when you find your passion it ignites you with an unexplainable energy to carry you through times of fatigue.

I am in no way shape or form an expert. I am just one girl who decided that not living my life was too much to bear any longer. So, I set out to make those changes. I can’t fathom doing my corporate job any more. I am not sure I could breathe without doing something I love to do that makes a difference in someone’s life.

My purpose today was to get you to think about pursuing something you love to do. Something that resonates deep down into your soul and makes you so excited to think about. To maybe nudge you in the direction you know you want to go but are just uncertain. To just have your back!

Some of you may always hold both an occupation with a vocation on the side. Some may find that they are one in the same. Some may go a step further and step out as entrepreneurs or social game changers with a mission. At the end of the day, just do what you love and love what you do. Make sure it makes a difference in your life and touches others with a positive impact.

The title, the paycheck, the benefit package – all great things – but they don’t hold a candle to your inner dream once pursued. Flip the coin of the “What If…” game and think about what you may be missing out on.

If you are looking for some real experts on the subject, there are many to choose from.  I recommend starting with a local Nashville guy, Jon Acuff, with his book Quitter.

If you have made it to this sentence, I say a big THANK YOU! I know I am prone to rants but hey I am just following my inner passion….To affect a change in others every day. This is my “real job” because I’m finally REALLY making a difference in my own life an in others.

Think Big. Dream Big. Live Big.

Start the conversation on “real jobs” below!!

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