What exactly is it? This struck me on my morning walk today… How would I explain occupation to a child?

The simplistic way would be “keeping busy” or “everything you do” .. But in the words of  Catie Kirke, ARt your Life founder and Life Coach, “we are not human doings, we are human beings”. Really, occupation is everything. Occupation is being..

Even when we are doing nothing, we are doing something. Our choice of occupation is dependent on so many factors. I believe it ultimately comes back to our personality styles. And our core needs for certainty or comfort, variety and adventure, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution. Our personality style influences the interactions we seek, what we find pleasurable and what recharges our batteries.

Someone with a high need for comfort and security may find a movie on the lounge their occupation of choice, whereas someone with a high need for adventure would be bored to tears (and probably doing 3 other things at the same time). Someone with a high need for love and connection may find social events the ultimate choice, where as someone very detailed and logical may prefer an afternoon with a jigsaw puzzle, book or engineering project. I encourage you to look into the 6 core needs ( www.artyourlife.com.au) and think about this for your family. What are the occupations which are truly motivating for you and your kids? Are all their core needs being met? If not, how can we meet their core needs in other ways and through other occupations.

For me, I have a high need for variety and adventure. My partner loves comfort  . We love going out for dinner. I prefer to go somewhere new and would happily try a different restaurant every time. He prefers restaurants  we have tried before, are recommended by a friend or have been able to research. So, we compromise. We have a favourite, where I order something different every time, or, we look online at menus to find new restaurants which will meet both of our ‘criteria’ for a great night out. Everybody wins and that is always the best outcome.

Occupation is really at the core of our being.. Without it, there would be no meaning, no purpose, no pleasure, nothing. We are human beings, and ‘being’ is a full time job.

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Shannon Hallatt

Senior Occupational Therapist, Founder & Practice Manager at OT for Kids NT
Shannon is passionate about delivering high quality OT services for children and families, and bringing joy to their lives. Shannon believes that every child is unique and has unlimited potential and it is this belief that continues to drive her everyday.

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