But I Want to be a Garbage Man

Everyone dreams about what they want to be when they grow up. At such an innocent stage of life, we imagine things we would love, things we would have fun doing, things we would find fulfilling, and things that would add meaning to our lives. Whether it is a garbage man or a physician assistant, we didn’t consider social status, financial positioning, or corporate climbing. It was only about choosing what was going to make life more fulfilling.

Unfortunately, too many of us settled into jobs. Whether they are career jobs or short-term assignments, the large majority chose employment opportunities based on financial provision. Vocation has been misunderstood by many as an accumulation of daily work rather than endowed opportunity with a divine perspective to add meaning to our lives (Hughes, 2005). Vocation is so much more than a job; vocation is a question of who we are, deep down in the core of our hearts, what are we created and called to be that adds value to ourselves and our lives as well as to the world around us (Hughes, 2005).

A perusal of the local bookstore will reveal the deficit of vocational understanding in the daily job search of the majority of the population. So many individuals spend their days working in a job that comes short of providing transcendent meaning to their lives (Scholes, 2010), which leaves them marching through life with a deep need for fulfillment and meaning. Each of us should not settle for working a job but should seek out our vocation, the thing that we are created to do that provides value to us and others, which is a uniqueness of being human.

What stands between you and your vocation?

What steps need to be taken to get you into a place where you have the meaning you long for?


Hughes, R. T., & Hughes, R. T. (2005). The vocation of the Christian scholar: how Christian faith can sustain the life of the mind (Rev. ed). Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

Scholes, J. (2010). Vocation. Religion Compass, 4(4), 211–220. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-8171.2010.00215.x

Sweeney, T. (2013). Against Ideology: Gabriel Marcel’s Philosophy of Vocation. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, 16(4), 179–203. https://doi.org/10.1353/log.2013.0033

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