Posts Tagged ‘vocation’

nametag revolution

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Your dreams were probably shaped by the world around you and its expectations, but you probably also had some kind of developing value system that influenced your dreams.  Early on, you were dreaming of adventure, or security, or being recognized, or being helpful.

There is an article in the latest edition of the Atlantic Monthly on the rise of women in the workforce.  Some experts say that the current hot fields are more receptive to women’s “nurturing” and “collaborative” nature (I am really leery of making generalizations like that), and some say that women are just getting stuff done more than men.

Regardless, it seems to me, a non-expert observer, that we are in for a revolution led by those wearing name tags.  Many of the hot jobs have varying educational requirements, but across the board they all require a name tag or badge: a hospital ID pinned to your scrubs, dog tags to go with your military uniform, or the white nametag sewn over the breast pocket of your blue coveralls.  Here at ECU, many students are majoring in education and construction management, so we’ll see their names on classroom doors, or see them wearing polos embroidered with the construction firm’s logo.  This article from Yahoo points to an increase in tech jobs, but also reminds us that laborers, technicians, beauticians, and people who fix things will continue to be much in demand.

my name tag for Sunday mornings

When I was in college in the 1990s, many of us students visualized sitting in a cubicle sometime in the future, living out a scenario much like the movie “Office Space.”  Now I work with several students who are looking at two extremes:  going on for extensive professional training in health care or technology, or dropping out of college to learn a trade.

What does this mean for the ideas of vocation and calling, ideas that we toss around a lot in ministry with young people?  Does it mean that some people won’t be able to live out their true vocation, because the “New Economy” calls for something different?  Does it mean that we each need to find our vocation wherever we are, regardless of what our name tags say?  Does it mean we should examine our assumptions about vocation, such as thinking that finding one will make us endlessly happy?  (see this “Faith and Leadership” article from Duke.)

Well, when I was little I wanted to be an artist, astronaut, writer, and pastor.  I don’t think my name tag reflects all that, and I probably won’t get around to all those things.  But I hope I can help people as they prepare to put on their tag for the first time.