When job hunting, what we do in our spare time can be almost as important as what we do at work. Our careers and jobs can take up much of our life, but we always need some way to blow off some steam and enjoy ourselves. Our passions in life can say a lot about us, which is why you should be considering your vocation AND your avocation when you’re looking for a job!

A vocation is your job that you need to earn money and support you and your family. You might be a doctor, teacher, or a sales executive. It is the work that you do that can be a big part of your daily life.

An avocation is a hobby or other interest that is separate from your job. It will somehow connect to what is important in your life. It might be something that is fun, challenging, or allows you to make a difference in your community. Here are some avocations of well-known public figures:

                                                Vocation                                              Avocation

Bill Gates                             Founder of Microsoft                     Philanthropist

Bill Clinton                          Former President of U.S.               Saxophone Player

John Travolta                     Actor                                                     Airline Pilot

William Barr                       Attorney General                             Bagpiper

Job vs Career workbook

An Avocation Can Directly Impact the Opportunities You Get and the Career You Pursue.

  1. For example, it can lead you towards a vocation aligned with your values and interests. I had a client who had a very successful career in sales. At one point, she became a math tutor for an organization that helps homeless people in the area. Discovering that she had a passion for the work, she threw herself into it. Today, she is the President of the Board of Directors.

    She knew that you cannot really change anything in your life if you do not have a place to live. She took her business skill and combined them with her avocation to continue building this important nonprofit, discovering a new vocation in the process.
  2. Avocations and hobbies can be expensive, so a job can provide the necessary funding. James Cameron is the director of Avatar, Terminator, Titanic, and other blockbuster movies. But he is passionate about underwater exploration. It requires a lot of money to fund scientific expeditions, engage the scientists, document discoveries, purchase the equipment for his “hobby.”

    He has often said that he can do underwater research only because he makes big money for big films. And in fact, his passion for underwater exploration played a significant role in the making of Titanic.

On the other hand, my husband builds model cars, boats, and planes. He is retired, so he has lots of time to enjoy his avocation. We didn’t realize it would turn into such an expensive hobby, but oh well!

Think about things that you care about and enjoy in your personal life. How can you connect them with your professional life? If you can find an element of your passion in your work, you’re going to have a much more fulfilling and successful career!

As a career coach, I talk about these kinds of issues with my clients regularly. Together, we can figure out how to best highlight your professional experience and personal passions to land the job you’ve always wanted! You can visit my website to book a free consultation.

I look forward to learning more about you, your vocation, AND your avocation!