According to Grammarist, a vocation is a calling, an occupation, or a large undertaking for which one is especially suited. It can be roughly synonymous with career or profession, though vocation connotes a seriousness or a commitment that these words don’t always bear. Keep reading at shorturl.at/nqvwT
An avocation is something done in addition to one’s vocation—usually a hobby.
But what happens when you’ve topped out in your career? What if you learn what you needed to learn and now your brain is not feeling fed? Is there room for you to weave your avocation into your vocation?
If we think of an avocation more loosely as something we choose to do regardless, or even as a passion, this weaving process may become clearer. For instance, let’s say that you’re an attorney whose practice is primarily focused on family law, and in your free time, you volunteer at your local animal shelter. What might you do to weave those together?
For me, the common thread is defining what constitutes “family.” (It may be different for you, but my dogs are definitely central to my little family.) So as that family lawyer, I might undertake some research on the emotional benefits pets bring to families facing challenges, or I might look for ways to strengthen laws that protect pets in abusive homes, since there is a lot of evidence that people will stay in terrible situations in order to protect a beloved animal. (https://www.sojournercenter.org/40-percent-of-domestic-violence-victims-stay-wont-leave-pet/.)
In some cases, these side projects can even become new focus areas, allowing those folks to exercise a passion at work.
But do you really need to be passionate about your job? More on that on Thursday!