Professional life coach gives insight on career choosing

Marshall Ukirk hosted “Vocation and Calling” with certified professional life coach Dana Sutton Tuesday at the Campus Christian Center.

Sutton discussed how students could determine a career choice by discovering their passions and gifts. 

“Vocation is a word that I think is overused a bit in some ways and not necessarily really thought about a lot,” Sutton said. “It usually may be thought about in just one way.”

Sutton said he believes the concept of vocation asks what one should do with their life.

“If you’re not familiar with the word vocation, it comes from a Latin word that means ‘to call,’” Sutton said. “Vocare—so that’s the root of the word.”

Attendees were asked to rank a list of values on a scale of one to 10 in a value assessment exercise.

“To me—it’s not so much about the doing, but the being,” Sutton said. “My focus for tonight about vocation is how we want to be and that’s our values.”

Sutton said the exercise was meant to show how conflicting values can affect decision making.

“The more things you have as a ‘ten,’ the more possible it is for you to have conflicts in your values,” Sutton said. “The reason I bring that up is a lot of times when we have trouble making decisions about things in our life is when we have two values we hold really high and have a hard time choosing between them.”

Sutton said his suggestion for resolving these conflicts are to decide what values are in conflict, recognize the importance of each and choose one to focus on.

“You’re not locked in—you’re not saying that one [value] is always going to be the most important to me in my life, now and forever more—no you can always change it, “Sutton said. “By picking one now you get to move forward.”

Sophomore digital forensics major Raisa Nuñez said she felt it was important to have leaders in the community start a dialogue about these issues.

“Sometimes you need to focus on what kind of person you need to be instead of what you want to do,” Nuñez said. “If you focus on what you want to do instead of who you need to be it doesn’t really make you happy.”

Nuñez said she believes it’s healthy to discuss the mental aspects of these conflicts.

“They don’t hear that sort of thing in their classes,” Nuñez said. “You have to cater to a student’s emotional needs too.”

Nuñez said the discussion allowed her to think about the bigger picture of vocation.

“[Vocation] is doing something in line with your values that also benefits the world, the intersection of your passion and what the world needs,” Nuñez said.

Ukirk will host another discussion 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Campus Christian Center.   

Clara Maynard can be contacted at [email protected].