I'm not saying Biz Stone is invoking Thomas Merton, but Stone -- co-founder of Twitter -- offers some poignant reflections in his book Things a Little Bird Told Me on the search for the right career.
He offers advice that echoes emphases of modern Catholic spirituality, in particular the call to stay faithful to one's true self. Using a metaphor (GPS coordinates) that resonates with our satellite-run lives, Stone said:
So often people follow a career path without thinking about what really inspires them. How many people graduate college, see that lawyers and doctors get paid a lot, and follow that route, only to discover that they hate it? I think about the comic Demetri Martin, who often appears on The Daily Show. He went to law school at NYU, but instead of being a lawyer, he ended up a quirky comedian who plays the ukulele and uses puppets in his act.
Adopting a career because it's lucrative, or because your parents want you to, or because it falls into your lap, can sometimes work out, but often, after you settle in, it starts to feel wrong. It's like someone else punched the GPS coordinates into your phone. You're locked onto your course, but you don't even know where you're going. When the route doesn't feel right, when your autopilot is leading you astray, then you must question your destination. Hey! Who put "law degree" in my phone? Zoom out, take a high-altitude view of what's going on in your life, and start thinking about where you really want to go. See the whole geography--the roads, the traffic, the destination. Do you like where you are? Do you like the end point? Is changing things a matter of replotting your final destination, or are you on the wrong map altogether?