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?

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?

Good Reads 2011

Surprisingly getting starting with a wedding site/blog seems to encourage me to start blogging more again here. hmmm. Also apparently StevBlogs has reached 100! “This is your 100th published post. Wonderful! This post has had 359 words.” Let’s celebrate! (with a new theme XD)

Just to share a (short) list of books which I found read worthy that were read this year
Note: in no particular order though

Joni (An Unforgettable Story; A Step Further) by Joni Eareckson / Steve Estes
How being paralyzed from the shoulder down does NOT mean the end of your life. Simply a humbling, amazing & inspirational RL story of God & God’s plan through us. PTL!

Notes to the Prime Minister by Wong Sulong
All you ever needed to know about Malaysia-Dr. M pulling us out of the 1998 financial crisis. Also a must read before investing in Forex. (Unless you plan to replace invest with gamble :P)

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
The book behind Buffet. Very interesting read although for me was backwards learning from Buffet’s methods. Then now looking at Graham’s. A must read prior to stock/equities investing. Even if you hire a stock broker and/or engage mutual fund consultant. (Unless again you are gambling instead of investing)

Rich Dad, Poor Dad series by Robert Kiyosaki
I’m not really a fan of Kiyosaki. Also naming your pet as your other legal document appointee is a sure-fire way of getting sued/losing your money/property. BUT, the key lessons put across are largely readable. What pushed this into the list for me was the 2 plans model for living comfortably VS living wealthy.

The Toyota Way by Jeffery K. Liker
Lean for all organizations & not only manufacturing companies. Lean is more than tools. Lean is more than Six Sigma, etc. Key concepts:-
– Continuous Improvement (CI/Kaizen): Challenge, Improvement, Genchi Genbutsu (Google it ;))
– Respect for People: Respect, Teamwork

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Lookbook // The Everything Wedding Checklist Book (3rd Ed) by The Knot / Holly Lefevre
After a number of hours at MPH & Borders respectively, this were the best choices in our opinion! 🙂 One for theme/color ideas & the other as a checklist for everything from 12 months away! Also very likely in the list as starting planning for upcoming wedding late 2012 / early 2013 🙂
Read more…

No fiction/fantasy books in the list? Well unfortunately none really made the list for 2011. Or you could count Rich Dad, Poor Dad under fiction 😉

Your must-read recommendation for 2011?

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?