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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let Your Life Speak

How do you think the recession is impacting career decisions? What jobs are considered attractive in times like these, and which are decreasing? Interest in finance and banking is down (surprise!); applications to graduate schools of government and public policy are surging.

This article by Steve Lohr reminds us that things going on in the external world have a significant impact on what careers people are drawn to. In the depression, students went toward civil engineering in order to build the roads, dams and bridges needed. In the Sputnik era, students gravitated toward technology to help combat communism. The big conclusion of the article was that "pay, peer expectations, world events, and the climate of public opinion" are the things that matter when choosing a career.

Here is something else that matters: Call. Parker Palmer said it well in his book Let Your Life Speak:

"Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God."

Let Your Life Speak, p. 10

All our attentiveness to the current economic trends or what careers are "red hot" or "recession-proof" will be a waste of time if we don’t also listen to what we can learn from our own lives. Lumunos refers to that inner spiritual wisdom as "call", and for over 75 years we have been helping people listen to that life-giving voice.

Don’t get me wrong--what is happening in the world should be a part of listening for call. Same with our financial needs, employment trends, and all the other things we usually consider when thinking about our work. These are critical aspects of any decision making process. But too often our own voice is the one we ignore when making big decisions about life and career. It is a voice worth hearing.

If you are interested in exploring these inner questions of call, check out the new Make a Living, Have a Life Groups through Lumunos.