A refresher re-look again at vocation. (Source: Be a manly man!)


A Job. Those who see their work as a job are those who belt out “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend” with great gusto. They live for breaks, for vacation. The job is simply a means to the end: a paycheck. They need to support their family/pay their rent, and this is the ticket they punch to do it. The job may not be terrible, but it offers the worker very little real satisfaction.

A Career. The careerist derives meaning not from the nature of the work itself but the gratification that comes from advancing through the ranks and earning promotions and raises. This motivates the careerist to put in extra time; work doesn’t necessarily stop when they punch out. However, once this forward progress stops, the careerist becomes unsatisfied and frustrated.

A Vocation/Calling. A vocation is work you do for its own sake; you almost feel like you’d do it even if you didn’t get paid. The rewards of wages and prestige are peripheral to getting to use one’s passion in a satisfying way. Those in a vocation feel that their work has an effect on the greater good and an impact beyond themselves. They believe that their work truly utilizes their unique gifts and talents. This is what they were meant to do.

“The deepest vocational question is not “What ought I to do with my life?” It is the more elemental and demanding ‘Who am I? What is my nature?’” -Parker J. Palmer

  • As a boy, what did you love to do? Write? Read? Sports? Working on models? Playing with a chemistry set? Spending time outdoors? Pretending to be a solider or a spy?
    I still remember a blue long notebook I had as a child. I would fill the book with ideas ranging from designing my own hotel, airport, etc to inventions such as a auto pancake maker & auto dispenser selling umbrellas, etc. Secondly was writing & playing paper (!) D&D/homespun RPG stories.
  • During school group projects, what job did other students assign to you, or did you volunteer for?
    Planning, leading the project, writing, presenting
  • What aspects of your current job do you love, which do you loathe?
    (Previous employment): loved planning & seeing the division grow; loathed traveling (driving)
  • What kinds of projects and jobs at work and at home do you get excited about? What kinds do you dread?
    Excited on new projects, new teams & change. Dread simple, boring tasks which take up a lot of time/a lot of running around
  • Have you ever talked to a friend about a topic, a dream, or an aspiration and everything just clicked inside of you, and you felt a surge of excitement throughout your body?
    About setting up a new business – cafe, bakery, training center, etc
  • What things do you see other people doing that make you ache with jealousy because you wish you were doing them?
    People who have built businesses & processes where they do not need to work at it daily & have the business self-running. Making only important decisions with big impact. Passive income!
  • What dream has nagged at you for as long as you can remember, the thing that always pops into your mind no matter how many times you dismiss it?
    Owning multiple large businesses, investments & real estate generating significant passive income.
  • What fills your thoughts in the quiet moments when you’re riding the train or lying in bed? What do you think about incessantly, what captures your imagination? Politics? Spirituality? Relationships?
    Growing current business venture. My beloved.
  • If time, money, education and any other obstacle was a non-issue, what kind of work would you choose to do?
    Business owner & investor
  • What were you doing the last time you totally lost track of time?
    Thinking about vocation
    Or a Big Bang Theory marathon session 😉

What do you think about your calling/vocation?

New Year, New Wishes

Yes I do realize it’s seven days after the new year 😉


I have never been one, much, for resolutions. Not that I think that they are all baloney or those people who do are. But because I have had a list of goals that have changed in both content & purpose over time.

What does 2013 hold?

An interesting realization is that I will be reaching the age starting with 3 this year. In certain ways I am ahead of the general bell curve of the world at my age. Yet as you get older, the more you realize that there is no need to compare with anyone – and maybe not even yourself. Not that I actually did since childhood years, except due to a grandfather who was constantly measuring my cousin & I in everything from height to studies. But I digress.

So What are You Doing Now?

In a society whereby we are commonly defined by our jobs, I am getting asked with reasonable frequency on what am I doing now. Oft by those who have just found out that I am no longer gainfully employed (not that I hide the fact at all, but rather then opposite). And also by many well wishing friends, etc (which I do welcome to ask me that question).

It was a good time to get married, think about vocation & what I want to do the next 10 years ahead. It was also a very good time to talk with people (still doing so!) & read many good books.

And now I have set down my main purpose to travel along the narrow (less traveled) road of entrepreneurship. And at the same time (partly for parents to assure them I will not starve, despite having set aside many months of savings, and partly for myself), I am looking to lecturing/teaching and/or writing. And in a way it does fit better this way as there are good linkages & symbiosis with entrepreneurship and teaching/writing.

So What Business are You Thinking of?

The initial focus & idea was towards setting up a bakery cum cafe (would be the 3rd time opening), but God leads me to a different direction. Thus am currently looking towards setting up a training center.

The current dilemma would be whether towards setting it up on my own, under an established experienced partner, or with a partner purely for funding. Praying about it!

Happy new year!


Have you setup a business on your own before?

What are some of the lessons you have learned?

Between Opportunities – What is Work?

Currently between opportunities. Taking time off (est. 1-2mths) to think of vocation, career & getting married to my beloved Viv. The questions below are from “48 Days to the work you love” & serve as a written record for reviewing my thoughts. Also a very good time to pick up my invisible pen again 🙂

1. Who gave you your first job? What kind of job was it? How much money did you make?
A local IT company serving MNC clients as a IT support analyst paying 21k per annum

2. From looking at your work life so far, what has been the greatest value or worth?
Learning – Business, management, people, operations, etc

3. If your job changes, does your purpose change?
Should not. Defined by overarching goals which do not change just because my job changes.

4. Do you think your current job will exist five years from now?
My last job was in business development & management. Yes, I believe there will still be demand for sales & management related positions although will be much more difficult then previously & you would need to really shine as the top.

5. What would be the key characteristics of an ideal job or career?
Continuous learning, training & development
Financially rewarding
Challenging seeing goals & achieving them

6.When you daydream, what do you see yourself doing?
Managing passive income businesses & investments with positive cashflow
Meeting & building relationships with people.

7. What have been the happiest, most fulfilling moments in your life?
Quiet personal time with God
Engagement with Viv (soon to be marriage!)
Obtaining Masters in Business Administration

8. If nothing changed in your life in the next 5 years, would that be OK?

What would you want to change in your life?

From Management to Leadership

Challenging work times since April this year. Yet I believe this desert has a purpose for my life.

Photo Credit: nurtanrioven

Apparently I’m pretty good at management/administration.
Apparently that’s not good enough for where I am now.
How do I move? From being a manager to be a leader?

Influence Others
Influence remains the biggest key here. This deals with a lot of people & relationships. Which is not exactly my strongest point. To change to focus on people. And what motivates them. For people are simply not interested in what you have to say, unless they know that you care for them as individuals.

Effective Delegation
Requires moving out of my day-to-day operational whereby right now 40+ people report to me directly. Crazy. Delegation and bringing up new leaders definitely required. Also an important lesson that when you delegate you need to get the results you want & not accept half-baked work. Otherwise people are just going to always believe you are there as the safety net resulting in neglect & ship-shod work.

Multiplication Effect
Which brings up to the multiplication effect. Just like financial investing, you need to invest in people and let it compound. To spend your time guiding & nurturing the best – to become better than you. Otherwise dragging behind you around sure ain’t fun for both yourself & the one getting dragged along.

Keeping it REAL
It’s all about:-

  • Relationships
  • Attitude
  • Leadership

What is the key difference between a manager and a leader?

Rest & Stress

Up & awake at 2 in the morning as wide awake. MBA completed & graduation ceremony in early July. Work transition ongoing & honeymoon period definitely over. Prescribing self a does of blog therapy.

Now would be a good as time as ever to collect things & reflect on both blessings & stressors

– Committing each & every day to God
– A very loving & supportive fiance
– Spending quality time daily with family
– Finding some time again to exercise daily (hopefully!)
– Picked up books & reading

– Work challenges due to operational hiccups with a number of clients
– Slow/no response on action items/matters requiring follow up with a few work colleagues
– … and surprisingly that’s it (expected more but is really much smaller once put into words)

Action Plan
– Meeting with client(s) & managers to try to resolve operational issues faced
– Talk with work colleagues on expectations & try to understand the challenges they face & how can I help them
– Leave work at work & focus time out of work on the things that really matter

Any other suggestions or thoughts on the issues faced?