Vocation is about more than just your purpose or your passion or how you want to live. Vocation is a wholehearted experience of growing into the person God made you to be, in response to God’s voice.⁵
The process of discerning one’s call requires hearing the voice of God, in the midst of the people of God, and then responding faithfully and obediently in a way that defines our identity in Christ. Additionally, it expresses who we are in cooperation with God’s mission in the world.
Understanding one’s vocation ultimately leads to coherence and agility.
Vocational coherence is the ability to name the way you are called to live out your specific Christian identity, in a manner that resonates with both your community and the world.⁵
A coherent life is one lived in such a way that you can clearly connect the dots between three things: who you are, what you believe, and what you are doing⁶.
Thus, vocational coherence is having all things in our life integrated and aimed at our vocational goals.
Vocational agility builds on vocational coherence. It is the ability to draw on a wide breadth of skills related to people, data, or things in ways that allow you a wider band of vocational possibilities.
In a changing world, this skill is needed for you to continually hear the voice of God and then respond to that voice of God in new contexts.
Thus, vocational agility is the ability to live out one’s vocation in a variety of settings.
¹ Bolles, Richard. What Color is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2015), 102.
² According to the Wall Street Journal and a 2017 LinkedIn Trends Report.
³ Wolff, H. G., and Moser, K. 2009 ‘‘Effects of Networking on Career Success: A Longitudinal Study.’’ Journal of Applied Psychology, 94: 196–206.
⁴ As reported within What Color is Your Parachute (2015), based on a study conducted by Crystal Management Services in its work with the State Department, the military, and other job-hunters. Also, Cupertino Rotary Job Search Support group reported a success rate of 50% with the Parachute method.
⁵ Tod Bolsinger, “Vocation and the Central Integration Question”
⁶ Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2016), 32.