This is an interesting question for me because I haven't found my vocation yet. For now I have given up on grasping after it and getting some life experience and skills under my belt and will come back to hunting it down later. Any attempts so far have caused more harm than good.

So my questions are these: When did you find your vocation? What is it? What is the best and worst part of working in what you consider your vocation? Was their any key part to finding your vocation or did you just wake up one day and know what to do?

Also, one last one: Is your vocation your main source of income or a hobby?

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in my late thirties, i decided i wanted to be a fireman.  people had been telling me all my life i'd be perfect for it, but i didn't listen.  then my wife mentioned it one day (i was in a crappy job and looking for other options), and it just hit me.  

the best part is hard to pin down.  excitement, challenge, male company, service...the worst part is the calls come when you're needed, not when you want.  i'm a volunteer now, so that can be any time.  i applied for a position at the best department around, but was passed over.  i really enjoy the volunteering.  

hope that helps.  good hunting.

Thanks Chuck! It is a great story and yes it it helpful. 

Ah, a complex story. I was torn between music, theatre and science when I was young. My mother feared I'd starve to death if I went into the arts, and my father was an engineer, so I studied science. What I realize now is that in the arts, you starve, starve, starve, and then suddenly you're rich. In science, you're one step ahead of starvation your whole life. Sometime in my thirties, I realized I could never support my family on a bachelors degree in science, so I went into teaching, eventually earning a Masters degree in Biology. I am a very good teacher, and it supports my family, but I think I would have been more successful if I had stuck with music and theatre. I certainly would have been happier. As I approach retirement in teaching, I am devoting more and more time to acting.

The moral of this story: Don't listen to anyone else but yourself when choosing your vocation. As Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss." Even if money doesn't follow, at least you will be happy.

When I find my bliss I'll be sure to follow it. I'm already independent from my family and am not largely swayed by my friends so that shouldn't be an issue.

I'm glad to hear you're putting more and more time into what you love. A lot of people never do I think. Thank you for the story. 

I don't mind if my vocation and careers are separate as long as when I find it, it can play a big role in my life.

End of a mostly wasted freshman year took what I thought was a gut class called Intro to Environmental Design; each class was mostly a slide show. The professor was the head of the program at the college.

The slide show had me hooked; here was a profession that had the very earth as its medium, with the power to shape cities, suburbs, homes, everything outside. I enrolled in the program the next semester and have made a full career out of it.

I've always seen Landscape Designers (and similar fields) to be really up there. I don't know why but it really resides with me as being a fantastic profession. Maybe it is the blending of science and art or common sense with creativity. It sounds like a great career Carl. 

Thanks; it's a very broad field as well; you can work more the technical end with engineers or go all nuts and granola-ey and be on the ecological conservation side.

What side of the spectrum do you gravitate towards or does it just depend on the job at any given time? Before moving to Italy I worked with a retired engineer and his house was just fantastic. Nothing huge, but it was just a maze of fantastically well put together rooms.

I'm smack in the center; residential work requires a decent knowledge of the technical with a blend of artistic/environmental skill. 

Sometimes I do want to become an environmental guerrilla, but I have a family to feed and kids to get through school, so, for now, no.

Something for the future perhaps. It sounds great Carl. 

Finding your true calling is a lot like many other things in life.

 The hardest part is just actually getting off our asses and getting out there and doing it. 

 Hints for life: Do what you love, and do it for free. Eventually you'll be good enough at it someone won't be able to resist paying you. Sounds odd, I know. But it's true. If there is something you want to do but you can't do it well enough to charge for it, do it for free. You'll get good at it, and someone will pay you for it.

I do lots of things I enjoy but none of them has become a calling. I keep on doing stuff so I'm just waiting for it to jump at me. If it doesn't I do enjoy what I am doing and fortunately I get paid for that so it's no big issue. 

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