the difference between career, purpose, and vocation


In my last post about career and purpose Karlita had a question about what purpose really means. In reading her comment, I realized that I think there are really three terms at play. But I usually just use two, and often in the wrong ways.

To best describe the difference between career, purpose, and vocation, I decided to talk with you in hopes that it will make more sense verbally.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Annie

    Love the distinction you make here– the children dying of cancer was the perfect example- no arguing with that point. That really made it black and white.

  2. Bettina

    Really enjoyed the way you explained “purpose”, it is so much of what can you do in that moment in time to make things better, regardless of what your “job” is. It’s about being a human being and just general life qualities.

  3. Anna

    This was so helpful, and encouraging. I’d like to think, also, that one can have more than one vocation at a time, which fits with your descriptions. Thank you.

  4. Wonderful, wise words Jess. I definitely think it takes time to figure it all out, and honestly, even when you do, it continues to grow and change. It’s like that Ralph Waldo Emerson quote I love so much, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” It’s organic, and we have control over how it grows and changes and develops.

    It’s a part of getting older that we have to realize that the day-to-day is not as glamourous as we might have thought previously — no matter what it is, with our work, getting married, having kids, owning a home…it is all just life, with its ups and downs.

    I really enjoyed this post as well from Lauren: http://www.stylizedexistence.com/2012/04/25/happiness-and-how-it-relates-to-your-blog-or-business/

    Have a great weekend Jess!

  5. Jess

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to watch and reflect on the terms! I’m so happy that this might help people feel more relaxed and purposeful in their lives!

    Erika, thanks for the article, I’m excited to read it. : )

  6. karlita

    oh I feel a little embarrassed because of my whole confusion but I appreciate very much Jess, that you took the time to explain it the best and most descriptive way possible so that everyone and me had the idea clear. I have watched the video 3 times and I am going to do it again!. Now that you explain it, I realized I was thinking that we should reach to get our purpose, vocation and career together, I guess that was my major limitation. There are so many things I have mixed on my mind in the past that are coming clear today. Thanks so much for your passion on MML.

  7. Carlos E. Chileshe

    Thank you for that clarification.

  8. haniya

    urlaub toskana
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to watch and reflect on the terms! I’m so happy that this might help people feel more relaxed and purposeful in their lives!

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