There are a few words in English we use to describe what we do to feed and clothe ourselves. Work…labor…job…career…vocation. But they are all very different things.
Work and labor…honorable and good. I think of Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs and how he celebrates the people who actually do stuff. They may or may not love what they do, but at least they like it and are contributing to keeping the world functioning on a pragmatic level. Career—I dunno. Careerism always struck me as somewhat stagnant…you get a career as a whatever and keep doing it until you get the gold watch (or the pink slip). Again, it works for a lot of people.
A vocation is from Latin—vocare—to call. So a vocation is a calling. Something that the world tells you is the perfect thing for you to do, for any number of reasons. My wife has been called to teach math. She can’t not do it. But when something else calls her, she’ll answer and go do that.”
— So You Want My Job: Outdoor Shop Owner