A vocation is much more than a paycheck. In fact, many vocations earn little or no money—raising children, for instance. A vocation offers growth, personally and professionally; it is an opportunity to invest in something meaningful, interesting, and satisfying. Because a sizable portion of one’s time and energy goes toward a vocation, carefully deliberating one’s options is natural: What vocation best suits my interests, skills, and situation? What vocation allows me to best serve those around me?

These seemingly simple questions are deceptively complex, however. To answer them well requires wisdom, and gaining wisdom is hard work. The complexity arises from two related problems. First, true self-knowledge is not easy to come by. Many paths may appear to lead to a good life but don’t. Knowing who I am and how I am made is the first step toward knowing how to find a good life. Second, myriads of conflicting voices have made understanding our culture confusing. Recognizing and critiquing the assumptions behind those voices clarifies questions of value and goodness. It helps to sort out questions regarding meaningful vocation.

At Gutenberg, we encourage students to pursue their own talents and interests but to do so with wisdom and understanding. A meaningful vocation is valuable and well worth pursuing, but first we must ask, What is “meaningful”?