By Anastasia Howland

Here are seven essential tips given by Calling & Career Week speakers Dr. Drew Moser and Jessica Fankhauser in their keynote session “Fully Present, Fully Prepared: Thriving in College AND Post-college.”

1. Learn to view vocation as an unfolding canvas, not a tightrope. Vocation often feels like a straight and narrow road which you will fall off of as soon as you take one wrong step. The truth is that within vocation, our options are wide open, like a blank canvas. We need not fear derailing our entire lives by taking one misstep off of the tightrope. Instead, we are given our own canvas and set of colors by God, upon which our vocation throughout life will be shaped and changed as we live faithfully before Him.

2. Evaluate yourself to see whether you lean more towards living in the present or living prepared for the future. The balance between these two is an important one to maintain throughout all of life, as it will help you live out your vocation, so seek to do a bit of self-correcting to practice both equally.

3. Don’t be afraid to fail. In all of life, including your vocation, we have to take steps of faith—these are sometimes called risks. If we don’t take these, we will never be growing or moving forward in. We must simply remember that God is faithfully with us as we take them, and not fear as we walk faithfully with Him into the unknown.

4. Remember to zoom out. We often only see the small, perhaps messy details of our day-to-day journey through vocation. Take time to put down the magnifying glass, and instead look at the broad ways in which God is working through your vocation.

5. Be bored more often. Our brains are actually more creative and reflective when we’re not being entertained by our phones, televisions, or headphones. Ever wonder why good ideas often come to you in the shower? This is your answer! Some healthy boredom can help you process problems, your skills, and experiences.

6. Start keeping lists of what other people find distinctive about you. When others ask you, “How do you do that so well?” Write that down! We don’t often recognize some of our skills—we think we’re exactly the same as other people. However, the people around us often recognize our skills. These words which they speak to you can be encouraging indicators of your strengths which you might use in your vocation.

7. Give yourself time to be reflectively curious. We want immediate answers to our questions. We want to be able to have the right answer, write it down on our tests or check it off in our mental checkboxes, and then forget about it as we move forward. But being willing to both consider big questions such as “How can I know God?” or “Where am I going in life?” and then sit pondering these questions is what actually provides space for us to move forward and grow in our lives and our vocation.