(Closed) When did you figure out your true calling?

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 47
9101 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’m in my 40s and haven’t found a calling yet. I’m not sure that everyone neccesarily has one. Michael Jordan obviously had one, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did, Oprah did, but lil ole me…. I dunno. Fortunately, though, I did find a career that I’m good at. It pays well and I don’t hate it, so I’m happy. Sure, it would be super-awesome if I could be paid seven figures for doing something I absolutely love. Maybe there’s even a way to make that happen, but it would probably be hard and I’m pretty lazy. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have everything we need and some extra. That’s enough for me.

Post # 48
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I am a school psychologist. When I was in high school I took a psychology class and I was hooked. I was reading the textbook at home for fun because I found it so fascinating. When I started college and began thinking about major choices, my friend mentioned that she was thinking of majoring in psychology. I had no idea what I would do with it, but I was intrigued with the idea. I chose school psychology because I knew that having a family and being able to raise my kids was important to me. I now work in a special education preschool and I love every day at work. I think the most important part of your decision is the kind of lifestyle you envision having. Is money important to you? Do you want to travel? Do you want a flexible schedule? Do you like working with people or would you rather be crunching numbers on the computer all day? Another reason I chose my profession is because of the different facets of responsibilities. Do you eventually want to be the boss? Are you a leader or would you rather be guided? Give us a bit more about your personality so we can better guide you.

Post # 49
410 posts
Helper bee

I found my true calling when I was 13 years old running an advice column online lol. I wanted to help people. Then my little sister tried to commit suicide and it solidified my aspirations of becoming a psychologist. I am currently in school to be an MFT. I suggest you take the Meyers-Briggs and see what kind of person you are. A pp mentioned jotting down your strengths, weaknesses, and likes. This tool may help you figure you out and therefore narrow down possible career choices.

Post # 50
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Have not found my true calling yet, but went to school for aviation. I love traveling, planning and fixing things. Would like to “Try” something related to locomotive engineering. I am planning of enrolling in some college classes. Dont feel happy at all at previous job(s) they pay the bills but is something that I dont see myself doing for much longer. I feel like I had wasted many years of my life in some stupic  low wage job ๐Ÿ™

Post # 51
7768 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

There are so many things I want to do and I am constantly developing them.  Someone told me you can have what you want if you prepare for it.  My path, being creative, is just a bit of a long slow path without distinct instructions.  I am passionately dedicated to being creative and I will find a way to make it work, but it is not without sacrifice.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but I have always secretly known it is who I am.  I have always known I have to work for myself because my standards are so much higher than anyone else’s.  (Blessing and a curse- I was literally told when working as a goldsmith for someone else that I was too motivated.)  My husband is the one that really encouraged, validated, and allowed me to go on my own.  I think it is hard sometimes to be honest with yourself and do what you know you ought to do vs. what you think people expect of you.  (They’ll never be pleased ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 53
358 posts
Helper bee

Read Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. It’s an amazing book that helped me choose a career I love. Important questions it asks, what would you do for free? What enthralls you? What do you do in your spare time? What causes you joy? Just do something that completes you and never do anything else than what your passionate about

Post # 54
6 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@HappilyEverAfter54:  I’m in a similar situation. I am teaching and I just don’t love it. In fact, I really dislike it. This bums me out a bit as so many people on here want to be teachers!

I love writing. It has always been a hobby of mine and something I have been fairly good at. I just can’t seem to find an outlet for it. I have written something of a memoir and always wonder if that will be my first foot forward. Knowing what to do with it and where to start, is a maze I am still running through….



Post # 55
11303 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I knew who I was and what I should be doing by the 3d grade.  Unfortunately, I bought into the strong messages from my father who was adamant that I had to have a “real” career, one that would be stable.

Funny, before my mother died, she told me that my dream career was the one she had always imagined for me.

It was much later in life that I found the nerve.  Now I have a strong support system, most especially DH, so I can really focus.

But,  I wasted so much of my adult life in jobs I hated that were wrong for me.

Post # 56
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Ive always been really into art so i knew i wanted to do something in an artistc field. Ive always been really passionate about animals. My parents didnt support me going to tech college for hair, so i started pre-med to be a vet at the local college. I dropped out after two semesters & went to hair school. 8 years later of being behind the chair & i still love it (:

BUT, if i was really wealthy & didnt need to work for money, i would open a rescue ranch to save as many animals as i could & start some sort of adoption agency to place them. My hubby always tells me i cant save them all….but i can try…that is my dream job!!!

Post # 57
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

I find this question really difficult to answer.

My true calling is being the best me I can be (sorry if that sounds cheesy and rhyme-y, I think it does too, but I really mean it and not sure how else to phrase it, and btw, it has nothing to do with the army).

It does not necessarily involve getting paid. In fact I find there is a strong inverse relationship with the amount I care about working on something and how much I can expect to get paid from that work (some meaningful work actually costs money). Of course, it’s nice when it does involve financial compensation, because we all have bills to pay just to sleep and eat and stay safe on this planet, but financial compensation is not necessarily associated with a CALLING, in my mind.

I would never do anything unethical in my career (when put between a pinkslip and an unethical requirement, I’ll quit — I had to do that before and feel only pride for doing so), but I don’t really identify with my job. My job is fine, it’s just that it’s only a JOB, it’s not ME.

When I’ve been unemployed, I did not suffer identity crises. And I hope FI and I can early-retire. Not to laze around doing selfish things, but because worrying about bills gets in the way of doing the most meaningful work.

As for what meaningful work constitutes? It’s many things. It has varied through phases of my life, and I’m sure it will continue to vary as I keep getting older and wiser, but there are certain causes I keep working on in one way or another (for example, preventative health stuff, especially through lowering pollution exposure, especially for expecting moms and kids, who are the most vulnerable. Yeah, this kind of work really doesn’t pay many bills and so it isn’t my JOB, but it takes just as much sweat and tears to do, and makes me feel like ME to do it! KWIM? Means a lot more than the income-generating activity I do.)

I really wish our societal financial structure was not so corrupt so that the people who are doing the most socially important work (like social workers for abused children for example) get paid handsomely (or hey, at least not as atrociously little as they’re actually getting paid), and people who are doing less socially beneficial work, like most of the fiancial sector would not get paid such outrageous amounts.

But it is what it is, and I am who I am… and I only live once so I’m not going to put making the most money possible above leading a meaningful and ethical life! If I discovered that I’d been left a hefty trust fund from a long-lost relative tomorrow, I would quit my job, tell my Fiance to quit his, and I’d go into non-profit/activism/volunteering full time, and I’m not sure what he’d do first (maybe a little downtime for him first, he’s working too hard these days), but he also doesn’t tie his identity to his job, refuses to do anything unethical as “part of his job”, and has lots of passions in life, so I know he’d love the chance to early-retire and get to focus on doing what he really enjoys.

Oh, cold splash of reality on my face, is that you again?

Oh well, almost nobody gets to live that fantasy I just dreamed, at least not before 60. Doing relatively meaningless work that I happen to be really good at in order to get the bills paid is something that doesn’t crush my spirit, as long as I have a full (meaningful!) life outside work, and know I’m not violating any of my ethics to do my work!

Post # 58
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

When I was in elementary school, I had some incredible teachers. It was my dream to grow up and be as wonderful a teacher as my 3rd and 4th grade teachers were. However, as I grew older, my parents convinced me that it was a bad choice. They told me that I was wasting my talents. I was “too smart for teaching.” Haha. So I changed my mind – I would become a pediatrician because that’s what smart people do – they become doctors. It wasn’t something I felt a passion about other than that I would be working with children. I was just doing it because it’s what people told me that I should be doing. Apparently, I wasn’t smart enough to stand up and make my own decisions.

It was my younger cousin who made me realize that if I went through with it, I would be miserable. I won’t go into the details – I’ll just say that she pointed out things that I already knew about myself, all of which clashed with becoming a doctor. 

Teaching was still in the back of my mind, but my parents kept saying “No, you’re too smart for that. Teachers don’t make enough.” Again, I let them influence me. I would be a nurse. By my senior year, I was completely unsure. I was accepted into 4 colleges – 2 for nursing programs and 2 for elementary education programs. My mom told me if I chose to go into teaching, that she wouldn’t pay for any of my college tuition. I think that was the breaking point. I told her that it wouldn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

I’m not “too smart for teaching,” but fortunately I am smart enough that I received enough scholarships and grants to pay for college without my mom having to pay anything. I graduated last May with a degree in Elementary Education. I have been subbing for half a year and can’t believe that I get paid to do something that is so much fun and SO rewarding. I can’t WAIT to have a classroom of my own. 


ETA: By the way, my mom has now apologized for trying to change my mind. She realizes that teaching IS my calling. She has told me that she should never have influenced me based on how much my paycheck would be. 

Post # 59
33 posts
  • Wedding: February 2013

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@HayleyJane:  ha! you and i have the same calling! i’m a nurse, and i can’t tell you how many times i have wished i just lived in a tent in the woods so that i never had to interact with humans again

Post # 60
6354 posts
Bee Keeper

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Don’t sell yourselves short, ladies! Being a Stay-At-Home Mom is most definitely a CALLING and a rather important one at that!

No-one is more influential on us than our parents (or guardians who take the parental role).

Raise just one kid as best as you can, and you have contributed to a brighter future not only for that human being, but for everyone he/she interacts with throughout life. The best hope we can possibly have to right what’s wrong with our world today, and make it even better, are adults who were raised (and inspired!) by nurturing but challenging parental figures. Parenting is a talent and a socially vital one. Adults raised by such parental figures will then go on to use THEIR unique talents to better the world in their own way, inspiring others, and so on.

My mother was not fit to be a parent, but my grandparents were more than fit, and they stepped in when she failed. I owe everything I’ll ever achieve to make the world a better place to their parenting. How can what they did for me ever be described as NOT a calling? 

Post # 61
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I was an analytical chemist (lab rat) for 10 years.  I didn’t like it at all and started looking for other chemistry/science-related jobs.  I was also living in NC at the time and started looking in the DC metro area.  I applied for a job in MD and got it.  No lab work but needed a strong background chemistry.  Eleven years later I have a super cool job supporting the Army in destruction of chemical weapons.  I’m one of a very limited number of people in the world with expertise in my field. 

Sometimes you just have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone for huge rewards. 

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