Sunday, February 26, 2012



I am sure you have heard about the work continuum: JOB – CAREER – CALLING

To this I would like to add a fourth stage – METIER

I believe that a person’s work life is defined by four stages: Job – Career – Calling – Metier.

job is something you do for which you get paid. I got paid for being an Electrical Engineer (or more precisely an Electronics and Communications Engineer). That was my basic job. Your job provides you the instrumental means of fulfilling  your financial needs.

During my career in the Navy I did a number of jobs, afloat and ashore (pertaining to Electrical, Electronics, Radar and Communications Engineering). Your career fulfils your needs for achievement and accomplishment. I was in operations, maintenance, production, industrial engineering, projects, design, quality assurance, engineering management, training, teaching assignments, and later, after I obtained management qualifications, I worked as a Human Resource Leader, a Trainer and a Professor.

I enjoyed most of the varied jobs I did during the course of my career, but the job I enjoyed most was Teaching and Training – yes, I had discovered my “calling” or vocation, so I spent many years as a teacher and an trainer.

To summarize:

job is something you are paid for doing.

career is a line of work.

When you find your work intrinsically fulfilling and you are not doing it to achieve something else, you have discovered your calling.

Since my student days I have always loved to read and write. 

Throughout my career I always seized the opportunity to do “literary” tasks like writing articles, participating in seminars and literary/intellectual events, editing and producing in-house journals etc. 

Soon I started writing short fiction stories, many of which were published and appreciated. 

I realized that I was passionate about writing and had discovered my true metier – creative writing. (Yes, your metier is your passion)

I, therefore, “retired” to pursue my metier full-time, with total dedication, complete vigour and focused efforts, without the distractions of a “job” or “career”.  

Now-a-days, I am a wannabe writer, who nobody takes seriously. 

I have already published two books, COCKTAIL (a collection of short stories) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL (my Foodie Adventures). Now, for the last few months I am writing my first novel – the first draft, the second, the third…

The life of a budding creative writer is a solitary and lonely one. 

Everyone thinks I am wasting my time and I am making a big mistake turning down lucrative job offers. 

They don’t realize that I have found my “metier” in creative writing and do not want to do a “job”. 

Most people don’t understand me and it is quite frustrating.

A few months ago, my mother had a serious accident, underwent surgeries and had to spend over three weeks in hospital. Me (and my wife) spent the entire three weeks looking after my mother full-time. Others came and went, and they expected us to stay put because they had “jobs” to do whereas I was “unemployed”. 

Even later, when we brought her home, my bedridden mother expected us (my wife and I) to stay with her full-time till she recovered (which took a few months). When I suggested that my sister can share the duties, my mother retorted: “How can she leave her husband for so long and come here? He has important work and a “job” to do!”

For my other relatives, like my cousins who run a business, time is money – so how can they afford to leave their business and come here for even a day!

In my case, it just does not matter. I don’t have a job to do or a career to pursue. In their eyes, Creative Writing is certainly not “work” or a “job” - at most, it is a hobby I do for fun.

Never mind that for those three months, my writing schedule went haywire and my train of thoughts got totally disrupted, whereas their jobs and work routine went on as usual.

Everyone thinks creative writing is a trivial pastime, a frivolous hobby, and it just doesn’t matter if I don’t write for a few weeks. 

No one takes me seriously. Everyone presumes that I am always free and available to do all the “bum jobs” whereas everyone else is always very busy with their jobs and their career. Whenever I protest that I don't have time, they laugh and say: “So what if you don't write today? You can always write later. The heavens are not going to fall. Anyway you seem to be writing your novel for so many days. A few more days won't matter.” 

They are busy with their jobs, earning money. Yes, money is the key - since creative writing doesn't earn me any money (at least for now) it is not important, at least in their eyes.

Suppose I was doing a “job” then everyone’s attitude towards me would have been different. Doing a job means a person is working, doing something useful; sitting at home and writing means that the person is doing nothing, just wasting time.

Sometimes I feel that I should rent an “office” somewhere to do my writing and go to “work” everyday from morning to night. Maybe then they will start treating Creative Writing like a full-time “job”.

Earlier, I had experienced a phenomenon called “Writer’s Block” – now I feel like a “Writer Blocked”. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this blog post?
I am sure you will like the 27 fiction short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL 

To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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