The Chaos Theory of Vocational Development

Joe Carter | September 3, 2017

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question that people begin asking you around the age of 5 and that will haunt you until adulthood, when it changes into, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

For a Christian the general answer should always be, “More like Jesus than I am today.” The specific answer, though, depends on our vocation, the specific way in which God calls us to live as a Christian in the world and serve our neighbor.

Because our occupations are one of our key vocations and one of the primary ways we serve others our neighbors, what we do as a job or career plays a formative role in the type of Christian we will become.

Most people, though, believe the path their career takes are largely out of their control and significantly influenced by chance events. This has lead to the development of what Jim Bright calls the “chaos theory of career development.”

Joseph's Unpredictable Path

In mathematics, chaos theory is the idea that the present determines the future, just not necessarily in a way that we can predict. A system like the weather may be predictable for…

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