Three Steps to Mastering Your Craft and Finding Purpose


Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is finding purpose in not only life but in work. Finding purpose, however, is easier said than done, and requires a real, volitional decision on our parts to not only do work that pays, but to find work that suits who you are as a unique individual.

Ultimately, the work that will be most beneficial to you as a person will be the work that ties in with your unique abilities and your own inherent interests. Once you recognize this “vocation” or calling, there are three phases you will undergo on your way to reaching mastery over your craft.

The Dangers of Not Finding Your Vocation

When it comes to work, do you absolutely need to find the work you are meant to do – the work that ties in with your unique and inherent gifts? No. You do not. But there is a consequence to not pursuing your unique vocation.

What is a Vocation?

A job is something you do for a paycheck.

A vocation, on the other hand, is a strong calling or realization that you are uniquely suited for a specific career.

Many jobs can be a step towards your vocation.

Although many people have a vocation, far fewer actually live it out.


Because living out your vocation is scary. It’s challenging and difficult and opens you up to many different kinds of risks.

I knew a kid in college – let’s call him Greg – who was double majoring in English and Computer Science. English to suit what he liked. Computer Science to suit what he could get a job doing.

Um. Am I the only one who sees a problem here? If english is what he likes doing, what in the world is he doing in the computer science field? Does he really think that his secondary passion will be enough to sustain him through life?

I think not.

A vocation is calling to use your gifts and talents in a specific field or career.

Pursuing Your Vocation and Interests Will Be Better for Everyone in the Long Run

If you deny the hidden calling placed within your heart to pursue other kinds of work because of the big title or paycheck, eventually, you will be worse off. You won’t be able to tap into your inherent interests to drive you when all else fails. You will also be working against yourself because you will constantly have to find novel ways to find meaning in jobs that don’t come as naturally to you or fill you with excitement.

If you pursue your passion, however, though there may be difficult even boring tasks, you will be able to always come back to the one unique, tying thread – that this is what you were always meant to do.

The idea, too, is that you have a unique void to fill through your work. And if you don’t fill that void, not only will your life suffer, but the rest of our lives will suffer, as well. We will be less well off because we did not get to benefit from the work you were MEANT to produce.

Finding and Pursuing Your Vocation Step 1 – the Apprenticeship

You’ve made the decision to follow and pursue your vocation. That’s good! But that also doesn’t mean you need to starve. It might take some time to learn how to apply yourself to your vocation in a way that also brings in the optimal amount of money. But in order to do that, you first will need to learn how to work.

What this means is finding a job that pays a living, no matter how meager, that is at least related to your vocation, even if not fully immersed in it. This will not only pay the bills while you pursue your ultimate goal, but it will give you confidence in your abilities when you test them “in the real world”.

While in this stage of your journey, the most important thing to do is to focus on building and acquiring as many skills as you can that will be relevant to finding your dream job. These are skills that can be learned and then practiced on the job, or even outside your job via your own personal passion project.

Key Takeaways: Find a related job to your vocation. Build relevant skills.

Step 2 – Applying Your Skills to Your Vocation

When pursuing your vocation of course, it’s not enough to stay in the job that is only slightly related to your vocation. But your desire for your vocation will not be satisfied by playing second fiddle. No matter the paycheck, no matter the comfort of your job, it is imperative that you jump ship as early as possible – once you have the skills you need – and move deeper into the realm of your profession.

With each jump you take, you should be moving closer and closer to your passion work. Though you may take winding ways to get there, that is alright. It is about the journey, after all, not just the destination.

In this next vital phase, you will start to notice that there are things you like more, and things you like less in the realm of work. You will learn about your work style, the kinds of tasks you prefer, the kinds of people you like to work with.

These realizations might lead you down many different career paths and offshoots as you search for that ultimate thing we call “finding your niche” or “finding your dream job”.

After finding your first apprenticeship, you will take many winding turns to get to where you really want to be.

Step 3 – Thriving In Your Vocation

The final step is mastery. Once you have mastered your vocation, many doors will open to you. Job opportunities will appear as if out of thin air, and everyone in your unique space will want to hire you.

At this juncture you will begin to plot our your course more carefully, taking on the projects that you want because you are interested in, not simply because someone will hire you. You have gained mastery in what you do, so you are now even able to do your work for yourself in a meaningful way.

You can build your own projects, find your own revenue streams, your own customers and clients. Whatever that looks like, this next step is ultimately a step towards your own independent, individualistic freedom.


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