A Creative Person’s Career
A vocation is what you want to do with the rest of your life. It is your calling.
A career is the line of work you are in and the work you do. You change careers, but rarely change vocation.
A job is what you are doing at this moment.
An extract from Career Management for the Creative Person by Lee Silber
…And the last I checked, this moment often changes.
A gush of gladness flooded into me when I read the lines above. It felt like someone out there could actually understand what I have been trying to tell the sea of people around me who fail to understand me miserably. They think I am being too ambitious. They think I am targetting too high up in the sky. They think I am racing with success and time. They even think that I enjoy changing jobs when I rather just stick to one – really. I swore my mom would kill me if I resign from my job in the bank – she would either personally slaughter me to death or get the relatives to hang me from the tallest coconut tree – and well, she almost certainly did when I resigned a couple of months ago.
Ever wonder how people in the older days can stick to their first job right until the day they retire at the age of 55? Or how they can dedicate themselves to the very same boss whom they complain about every evening when they leave the office? Or how they keep telling other people that they don’t want to be an accountant but continue to be one right until they retire? And then, they have to go and complain about the young ones (like us) for changing job so often before accusing us of going after money instead of dedication. Just for the record, the last time I checked, almost every job I switched was for a lower pay but a more challenging role; For this, I’ll give my mom credit for calling me a fool.
A janitor would probably never change jobs because everywhere they go, it’s the same task and the pay could not differ much. An accountant is mostly likely to change jobs because other company keeps offering higher paycheck. But a creative person should be changing job at least once every two years because creative people could never live in mundane mode; it has to be challenging, demanding and crazy all the time. For this reason, I hope people would understand why I am constantly seeking for more: Because I am finally confessing that yes, perhaps, I might be a creative person afterall.
So if you are a creative person (or you work in the creative line) and you found the urge to change jobs every few years, it’s normal. Because you are not seeking for a change of job (everywhere you go, you do the same thing in the creative industry), you are seeking for a change of environment, of new ideas, a new breath of air, new things. It’s what fuel our creativity that matters.
So remember, focus on your vocation – your calling in your working life. When you have to make a decision between switching jobs and changing careers, as long as you know for sure what your vocation is, you will always be on the right path. Know what your vocation is and use your career and job to fulfill your vocation. This applies to everyone, not just us – the creative junkie who keeps creating things for the world.
Originally written by Gina Yap Lai Yoong © 2010