What is your occupation?


I’m sure you have had to fill forms in the past.

How do you feel when you get to the “What is your OCCUPATION” question?

When I was in my teens, I always wondered what they expected me to write. What else? Student of course. I used to envy those who were able to write Doctor, or engineer, or teacher. One day, I will be like them.

But, now, I’m over twenty and I still have to write student, thanks to the prolonged school calendar. But I do not wish anymore that I’m able to quickly write a profession.

I reckon that the forms are asking me for an occupation, not profession.

What is an occupation?

Dictionary says it’s a job – the job by which somebody earns a living; or an activity – an activity on which time is spent.

So, always, I type in STUDENT – I do not earn money for it, but I spend time on it.

But really, I’m a student.

I spend.

Most days, I stay awake into the night or early morning, working on an article, studying my Bible or reading up medical texts, doing some blogging, helping people, designing or internet research, I see myself working.

I spend time.

More than once, my phone has beeped at night, a friend messaging to ask what I’m doing, awake, when I ought to be sleeping. My reply is always “I’m working.”

I’m sure they wonder what “work” it is, but just do not press further.


I have an occupation.

I spend discipline.

To many young people, anything that does not bring immediate bucks into your pocket isn’t an occupation. They hear occupation and they see money. But really, your occupation is the work you are occupied with now. Do not wish for the greener grass at the other side.

And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline. Lamentations 3:27 [CSB]

But really, what is your occupation, young people?

For most of us, we would check one or more of these things:

School. Personal development. Healthy Relationships. Spiritual Growth. Positive Friendships. Maybe for some, marital engagement.

Where you are at present is your occupation. Embrace it. Commit to the process. Commit to diligence and anticipate the rewards coming ahead. Spend time and discipline.

In reality, do not just absentmindedly fill your forms. Set your heart upon your occupation. As long as it is a pathway to somewhere greater or more financially rewarding, it’s worth sticking with.

Yes, there’s a right time and way for everything, even though, unfortunately, we miss it for the most part. Ecclesiastes 8:6 [MSG]

Remember, this time is not a vacation; it is a time to build a strong foundation for your life. Trump instant pleasure and go for delayed gratification. It lasts longer.

Connect to God. Learn. Grow. Shine.

 Buzz word: Your occupation will always pay you later on.



Author: Toluwanimi

Toluwanimi believes young people can do great things with their lives. “Give them wings; watch them soar,” He always says. He is a physician by training and a budding behavioral scientist with a keen interest in child and adolescent health and development. Having worked with teenagers for over a decade, he loves to study and practice evidenced-based methods of inspiring positive behavioral change. His current project, GrandHeights, aims to provide resources and mentorship connections that inspire and empower young people to realize their life’s full potential despite negative circumstances around them. He plans to develop an establishment that will conduct research, develop effective strategies that will impart hope, empowerment, and refuge for youth and families in at-risk situations. He also believes creativity can be a transformative tool and through his start-up, Missionary Creatives, he helps nonprofits tell their stories and develop strategies to drive growth.

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