When I was a little girl, I always used to get asked, what did I want to be when I grew up? At the time, I
didn’t realize how many times I would hear this throughout my life and that it would take me almost
three decades to finally understand my passions, my talents and skills and how I could intertwine those into a career. The pressure was on and has been since I was an adolescent, but at the time, I enjoyed playing “school”, so I figured I would be a teacher. After one year of teacher’s practicum during my senior year of high school, I figured I did not want to be a teacher, this would be the beginning of my search for the perfect career for me. Ultimately, I find happiness in helping others within their careers as a career coach.
Finding what you are passionate about and having the ability to intertwine that into your career is one
of the most challenging tasks, but it does not have to be. Understanding your personality traits, goals
and aspirations are important in finding your authentic vocation. Marcia Bench, author of author of
Career Coaching: An Insider’s Guide, coined the phrase authentic vocation which starts with your life
purpose and builds a template for your ideal career based off that framework. According to Bench,
“Authentic” means genuine, aligned with one’s essence; “Vocation” denotes a calling; a profession to
which one is particularly suited; a life’s work, so “Authentic Vocation” is work that genuinely expresses
people’s talents in ways that allow them to contribute fully.”
Going to work is a more meaningful and enjoyable when you are working in your authentic vocation.
Most people working in their authentic vocation are happier with their work and time goes by easier.
So, how do you find your authentic vocation? How can you find your passion and match that with your
career? Well ask yourself these 7 questions created by Marcia Bench.
1. Life purpose: what is the purpose or mission of your life that must be expressed through your work?
2. Values: what values must be expressed in your work for optimal satisfaction?
3. Motivators and interests: what motivates you to do your best? what areas are of interest to you?
4. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: what skills do you have that you want to continue using?
5. Work and Other Experience: what experience can you leverage in your next position?
6. Desired Job/Career: what job titles and/or industries would suit your goals?
7. Environment: what location, culture, and other factors would be critical in your work environment?
8. Business Reality: Is your target financially viable? Can you make a living at it? If not, what needs to
be adjusted so you can?
After asking yourself these questions you will be one step closer to realizing your authentic vocation.
So, ask yourself, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
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