Like many people, I like to spend time in the garden – there is something always satisfying about being with nature and out in the fresh air. It helps me to think and, when things get all too busy, it helps to keep things in perspective.

By no measure could I call myself a skilled gardener, and occasionally I watch an episode of the long-running ABC TV show Gardening Australia to pick up some new tips. This show is full of good ideas and interesting people. One young woman featured on a recent episode, really captured my attention. She runs a cafe in the Adelaide Hills and most of the food she prepares for her customers she grows in her vegetable garden. In the interview she spoke with such passion and excitement about the food she grows and serves, being inspired by her Hungarian immigrant parents who always went to their garden and ate what they picked. The amount of produce she is able to grow in her vegetable garden that is only one year old, seemed amazing to me, and is surely a product of being connected so strongly with the work she has chosen to do.

The interview concluded with these words from such a young and yet wise woman:

.. [I] …want to inspire others to grow their food and if I can do that then that’s  a life well led

It seems to me that this woman has found great meaning in her work, and is making a living doing both what she really wants to do and is good at. I reflected on this woman’s story long past the end of the show, and was reminded of another quote recently sent to me by a friend:

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation. Aristotle

These days jobs come and go and career changes are multiple. Rarely do we use the word vocation to describe our jobs and careers. Yet its meaning – a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation – is quite simple. I think we can take the essence of vocation and apply it to the way we manage and plan our careers and do our work.

At the heart of this is doing what matters most to you and utilising the skills that you have to meet a market need.

By answering the following four questions you will be well on the way to finding work that could be more like a vocation than a job:

  • What do I value most?
  • What am I good at?
  • What does the job market need?
  • Am I ready to job search?

Go well