Dusted off book

I got that little old book from the library last time that has been fun to read.  Here is a bit from chapter 4.

Tom Hodgkinson “How to be free”

The idea of a career is that it follows an upward path to some ever-vanishing point above you. It is the quest for self-perfection…a sort of lonely pilgrimage. Your career is supposed to be something more than just a job: it defines and limits you, and it supposedly provides your creative and competitive fulfilment. Career is not just how you earn your bread; it is your life…
The competitive principle applied to work means that your success is achieved at the cost of someone else’s failure.

…Career precisely refelcts the dynamics of other modern myths; it is a greedy monster, never satisfied, always wanting more…in our urge to compete, we tend to try to become very good at one small thing to the exclusion of all others. This is called professionalism but could be more accurately labelled ‘being useless’… And if you can’t do anything else, you become dependent on other people to fill your needs…

…Career is just posh slavery. And career is an institutionalized putting-off, a paradise deferred. We hold the abstract notion of a career in our heads as a kind of yardstick. Sometimes we are doing well against our self-imposed imagined career path; sometimes we are doing badly and other people’s careers seem to be going better. We use career as a stick to beat ourselves with.

…Careers don’t allow us to be fully ourselves, careers take as an index of success money and status rather than pleasure in work and creativity.

…Vocation is a community based idea of work, it is a giving experience, whereas career is a selfish and competitive version of how to work. Vocation is steady and flat, whereas career is an upwardly sloping curve, stretching into infinity. With a sense of work as vocation, we can work steadily and happily.

…And how do you find your vocation, your gift? The answer is simply to do nothing for as long as you possibly can….Most of the time we are too busy to step back and find out what we would like to do. Create some time for yourself and things will gradually become clear. Above all, stop trying. Career is a try hard notion. The free spirit have stopped trying and instead let things happen.