Vocation Rhetoric – Part 3: Career Satisfaction vs. Satisfying Your Vocational Call

I came across a really helpful visual on Michael Hyatt’s blog today. His post this morning addressed the issue of job satisfaction, and he laid out an argument for why job satisfaction (for Christians and non-Christians) occurs at the intersection of three vital components: passion, competence and marketplace value. Here’s the visual he used in his post:

Hyatt (former Thomas Nelson Chairman and CEO, bestselling author, and leadership consultant) focusses his mission and his writing on helping individuals become successful leaders in their chosen occupations. From what I know and have observed from his writing, he seems to have a keen understanding of effective leadership within the marketplace.

I share his diagram here, not because I disagree with it or his principles, but because it helps to illustrate the distinction I have been arguing for between “occupation” and “vocation.” As Hyatt illustrates, “career satisfaction” (occupational fulfillment) requires one component that fulfilling a vocational call does not — marketplace value.  Sometimes our vocational callings as Christians may benefit the marketplace, but they certainly exist irrespective of the marketplace. Hopefully this visual helps clarify the distinction I have been getting at in earlier posts on vocation rhetoric (parts 1 & 2).

I have one more post planned for this series on vocation, and then we will move on. Here’s a teaser…the last part on vocation rhetoric has to do with gender diversity in the workplace and how the growing number of women in the marketplace have the opportunity to help shift our cultural focus from a occupation-centric paradigm to a vocation-centric one.