My Career

Dominic Vautier
updated 2/3/12

it sufficeth that the day will end And then the end is known
                       
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar V,1,6


“So what do you do?”

An expected response may be “I’m an engineer, or teacher, or social worker, or mechanic.”

A more correct question is “What do you do for a living?”  Now that's a different thingIt’s not really the same question as “What do you do?” since this second becomes much more difficult to answer.

So what do I really do? A lot! I live, I love, I think, I raise kids, I enjoy puppies, I sleep, I dream, I read, I write, I eat, I totally enjoy loud music, I have ideas and opinions.  I suppose I do a lot of the things that other people do, and yes by the way, I did have a job for most of my life.  My job doesn’t completely define “me” but it does occupy a good portion of what I am so it does for sure define a good part of “me”.

A simple answer is what people expect; like I do this or I do that, and this too pretty good.  Anything else sounds a little weird or self-indulgence and may sound like an attempt to justify some mystical self effacing purpose or any of a number of reason-for-life responses conveniently at hand.  Whatever!

 

  The Last Lab Rat

If I were born into wealth and didn’t need to work for a living, the entire subject or even the response becomes a formality and probably is unimportant.  But for so many people who must work, our job tends to define us and occupy a good share of what we are and what we do and the way we think and the way we act.  It is my belief that the best of all jobs is a career type job because a career is something that you can get very focused on and passionate about and identify with and absorb as part of you and even get quite good at.  Sometimes you actually become your career to a greater extent than you realize.  This helps to bring me back to the same curious question "What do you do?".

In ancient Greece when someone of importance died the people used to roast him in a big bonfire.  Some would ask, “Was he passionate?” like that was the most important thing about a person and that is really what marked one's life so much so as to deserve a bonfire.  I think I was kind of like that -- passionate I mean, and fortunate enough to really have a true career.  They are harder and harder to find.

So this is the story of how I found my career and what it meant to me and how it eventually would came to define a good part of me.

My true call to a career started around 1969 when I was 28 and decided it was time to get serious, but the urge may have been implanted way before that time and even continues to this day—a desire to be somehow fulfilled and to contribute something to the world that right now doesn't make a lot of sense.  When I think about my own career, I imagine that the whole thing was some huge learning experiment and I was a kind of lab rat that was constantly being measured and tested.  Some things were beyond my control.  Other things were not.  I got to make some of those choices and get measured on them.  "Was he passionate" I suppose can be the greatest thing anyone can say of me. 

So here is sort of my story.

                              It began at the beginning...