Vocational Development

In my work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I continue to see people suffering from the economic downturn and job loss. Not only because a medical condition became a disability and changed an individuals ability to their customary work, but from sheer lack of employers need to hire workers. I keep wondering where is this country heading. What does the future bring?

Messages from my spiritual life, which includes church and contemplative prayer, continue to draw me to the term vocation. This is the term used by the church to encourage young parishioners, both male and female, to pursue service to the Church as a Priest, Sister or religious service of some kind. In the catholic church these are life time commitments usually not for those who have a family to support and mortgage to pay.

The word vocational is also used as a career development term. A person’s vocation is their life’s work. The job they are meant to do in service to humanity. I believe each citizen of the world has a vocation to serve in some fashion. It might be in business, education, the trades, high finance or industrial/commercial function. I also believe that when a person’s true vocation is found it will provide the needed income and environment specifically tuned to the style and needs of the individual and will provide a fufilling life. One way to find this vocation is to take career interest inventories or other assessments that help identify careers that fit with the particular aptitudes of an individual. World of Work Inventory is one tool, others include the Harrington Oshea Inventory and Choices. These provide a structured series of questions that the participant answeres about them selves which help draw a logical conclusion. These tools are used in One Stop Career Centers, Adult Education Programs and Vocational Rehabilitation programs through out the country. However, I would suggest that if you do not know your self well, the results from these exercises will not be as acurate as one might like.

I believe we each need to take some time and be with our selves long enough to let go of the external “shoulds” and allow the internal true self to provide the career decision. Then the above assessment tools are used after this they will be wonderful. I have discovered that using a centering or contemplative process prior to the decision making will make the results much more long term and acurate.

So… learn the contemplative prayer. Connect with your Divine within. Then ask God what your vocation should be…. I guarantee it will provide you a future you never thought possible. Let go Let God… Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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