In my last post, we looked at what a vital vocation actually is. Today, we’re going to go a bit deeper by breaking it down into its component parts so that you can go about finding yours. A vital vocation – your dream job, your ideal work - is made up of four quadrants, each of which can be further sub-divided into ten elements.
Vital Vocation – The Four Quadrants:
Vital Vocation – The Ten Elements:
Quadrant One: TALENTS
Those things you are naturally gifted at, talents are either:
- 1) Explicit – these are things you know you’re good at, and that others regularly recognise you as being good at. There’s no mystery here. These talents are obvious for you and the world to see.
- 2) Implicit – these are the hidden gifts that others might recognise in you before you do. Or they may be things that neither you nor anyone else knows you have a gift for, until you go on a quest to uncover them.
Quadrant Two: SKILLS
Those things you are good at and have learned to do competently, skills can be:
- 3) Functional – those things you can do well. They are generally “actions”: typing, knitting, driving, writing computer software, deep-sea diving…
- 4) Intellectual – those things you know a lot about, or are adept at understanding. They are generally “areas of expertise”: the works of Shakespeare, the French language, horticulture, astrophysics, the history of the Renaissance, calculus…
Of course, some activities combine both types of skill, because they require you to know a lot about the things you’re doing – like brain surgery….
Quadrant Three: VALUES
Values are personal sensibilities based on those matters which are deeply important to you, and which are derived from your own particular personality and view of the world. Such as:
- 5) What matters most to you – those behaviours and beliefs you need to express in order to feel wholly yourself. This might include your political or spiritual convictions.
- 6) The needs you see in the world – those things you regard as a “call to action” and an invitation to make a contribution towards. This might include your drive to help others through charity or through channeling your time and influence in particular directions.
Quadrant Four: ENVIRONMENT
This is the physical, social and psychological “place” from which you want to carry out your work. It includes:
- 7) The kind of people you want to work with and for, whether they be colleagues, customers, supervisors, subordinates, or other workplace associates.
- 8) The place in the world you want to work and live, including the continent, country, state, town, street, and whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
- 9) The type of work environment you need to be in, in order to thrive. One that’s busy? Slow-moving? Supportive? Challenging? Traditional? Modern?
- 10) The remuneration level you need in order to live a comfortable and balanced life, in terms of salary paid, costs incurred, and added perks of the job.
How To Put The Model Into Practice
So there you have it – the four quadrants and ten elements of your vital vocation. Here’s the key point:
If you can determine what each of these elements would need to look like in order for your job to be “ideal” then you’ll have an accurate outline of your vital vocation, and will be in a position to start going after it.
By deeply examining each element, and considering how it needs to be shaped to suit you, you’ll be able to build up a detailed picture of your vital vocation. That may not mean that we come up with a picture of a specific job for you to apply for (although that certainly could happen). But it will mean that you’ll have a template which you can use to help you find – or create – that job.
It sounds easy, but much of my work with clients is spent helping them to figure out what the elements of their vital vocation should look like. That’s not always obvious, and can take a bit of work. I have a ton of exercises that can help you figure this information out. Sometimes those exercises are about coaxing the information out from the deepest recesses of your mind at heart – where it’s hidden away, forgotten, but certainly not lost forever…
Here’s a short exercise to get you started:
- At the top of a clean sheet of paper, write: My Vital Vocation – First Impressions.
- Without thinking about it too deeply, take 5 minutes to jot down which TALENTS, SKILLS, VALUES, and ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS spring to mind when you ask yourself the question “What is my dream job going to look like?”
- Don’t spent too long on this. It isn’t a trick question – it’s just designed to get down on paper whatever thoughts you’re already having about your ideal work.
- We’ll come back to what you’ve written in future exercises, including some that will tease out some ideas that may surprise you. It’ll be interesting to compare what you write here with what you learn as you move through future exercises…
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