Summary. This document provides insights about difficult vocations and careers.

Difficult Jobs. Some careers require more of a sacrifice than others, and depending on the vocation, a person may need to toughen up to succeed. Jobs that are physically or emotionally intense and demanding include:

  • debtor asset collection or property repossession specialist
  • emergency medical technician
  • law enforcement officer
  • military service person
  • paramedic
  • sport athlete such as boxing, football, martial arts, rugby, or soccer

Sports Comparison. The intensity and rules of some workplaces are similar by comparison to the rules of sports. For example, a football linebacker plays by certain rules, but if that same person is on the basketball court, they would be thrown out of the game for tackling a player. Similarly, someone working as collections specialist needs to be demanding, assertive, and unwavering because their job success depends on it.

Respecting Vocational Skills. When you view a vocation as if it is a professional sport, then its possible to respect people for their vocational skills in the same way you respect a football player. In general, society doesn’t admire demanding and assertive behavior. Yet, “on the playing field” for some jobs, it’s possible to admire behavior that might otherwise be a turn off. For example, a kind, patient, forgiving, and empathetic collections specialist who is skilled at being a good listener probably won’t succeed, at least not with that kind of behavior “on the field” of their vocation.

Vocational Sacrifice. Those who work in vocations that require a certain toughness must sacrifice or at least restrain the natural human desire to be empathetic and caring. This is a kind of sacrifice that needs to be respected and appreciated.

Understanding Vocational Differences. Below is a comment by Gregory Johnson regarding understanding the diversity of vocational differences.

“My job primarily involves helping people with computer problems, but sometimes I’m asked to provide advice or assistance in other areas of life. So, my work requires that I be caring, considerate, gracious, non-judgemental, kind, sensitive, empathetic, soft spoken, patient, a good listener, and attentive to details. We’re all born with the capacity for these things at some level, but to really develop these traits and skills requires self awareness, and it requires an intentional persistent effort and desire to grow. When I meet people in professions that require a certain toughness, I admire them because of what they have to give up to do their work. It’s a sacrifice. Yet, even if people are blunt and demanding, or seemingly abrasive, I can admire those traits if the person has cultivated them to be effective at their job. If someone is passionate about what they do, and skilled at it, it’s hard not to respect them.” ~ Gregory Johnson