Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My career

I wrote a Russian friend recently telling her about my visa situation, and she wrote back saying that she wished me luck, whether I returned to Russia or decided to "stay home" and start my "career."

That made me wonder, just what have I been doing all this time if I haven't started my career? Just what is a career, and how do you know when you've started it? And why is it important?

The first word that comes to mind when pondering the meaning of career is "profession." People in Russia are always asking me what my profession is, and I dislike answering. I suppose for simplicity's sake I'm a teacher, but I really dislike putting my life in a box like that. I've been teaching informally for about 8 years; what difference does it make if I earned money from it or not?

If career relates to education, I have studied many subjects. Why does it matter what degree I've earned? I've poured out passion into subjects that I only studied for one semester, and I could earn a Master's degree in something I'm not passionate about. Why does it matter what's on paper?

There is also the question of calling. How does calling relate to career? If I'm called to show compassion towards orphans, do I have to have that on a piece of paper? Can I write it on a resume?

Many missionaries consider Missions to be their career. When they say this, I believe they mean that it is their life's calling. When investigating further, you find out that they're church-planters, Bible translators, humanitarian aid distributors, etc. But tasks and assignments change and grow, even when your goals in life remain the same.

I don't want to split my life into pre, during, and post-career. And I'm glad that God doesn't either. I sought Him when I was young, and I hope that I will find ways to serve Him when I'm old and feeble.


  1. Well said!!!

    From another sister who skirts labels,

  2. Мне тоже не нравится слово "карьера". В русских словарях оно определяется так:
    Движение, путь кого-нибудь к внешним успехам, славе, выгодам, почету, сопровождающее деятельность на каком-нибудь общественном поприще.
    В английском так же?

  3. How well said - and I agree totally. My education was in Russian Language (which I now speak only poorly) and Theatre, which even I thought was really just "for fun". Yet for seven years I was a professional actress - meaning that is how I got my living. Still, even if that is the case, you so often are "resting" as the Brits so beautifully put it. Then when people would ask me what I "did" I'd feel like a fool saying I was an actress, because I knew the next question would be "what are you in now?" and if it was nothing at that moment, I'd feel like such a fool...I couldn't exactly pull out my resume! Then I became a teacher - for a year. Since then I've been a DRE - Director of Religious Education...and while I do love that work, I HATE the title. The most important title I have regarding my efforts is; MOTHER. But you can't exactly say THAT in this day and age without offending someone.... So, better just to live in the moment, and follow the leading of the Spirit!

  4. Hi Debbie! :)

    Glad I'm not the only one!

  5. В принципе, так же. Хотя в прошлом выбирали одну "карьеру" на всю жизнь, и сейчас можно иметь несколько направлений. Но всё равно, суета.

    В США, карьера у женщиной также принимается как противник семейной жизни. Сначала карьеру, потом семью. Или карьеру вместо семьи.


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