How to find fulfilling work

The way that education can lock us into careers, or at least substantially direct the route we travel, would not be so problematic if we were excellent judges of our future interests and characters. But we are not. When you were 16, or even in your early twenties, how much did you know about what kind of career would stimulate your mind and offer a meaningful vocation? Did you even know the range of jobs that were out there? Most of us lack the experience of life — and of ourselves — to make a wise decision at that age, even with the help of well-meaning career advisers. …

We can easily find ourselves pursuing a career that society considers prestigious, but which we are not intrinsically devoted to ourselves — one that does not fulfill us on a day-to-day basis. …

“Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies,” wrote Albert Camus. …

It is common to think of a vocation as a career that you somehow feel you were “meant to do.” I prefer a different definition, one closer to the historical origins of the concept: a vocation is a career that not only gives you fulfillment — meaning, flow, freedom — but that also has a definitive goal or a clear purpose to strive for attached to it, which drives your life and motivates you to get up in the morning.

– Roman Krznaric. Via Brain Pickings.