The job market blows. Consider this: priesthood

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I spent a lot of time around priests and nuns growing up, mainly because my dad once wore the collar. He joined the priesthood at a time when it was considered a good career choice (not to mention, of course, a calling). His was an evangelical order, so it must have seemed exotic to a Philly boy: see the world! Save the world!

…and I don’t mean for Halloween. /

Today, not so much. According to an article in Slate today,

In 1965, there were twice as many religious priests and brothers as today. There are just one-third as many nuns.

(Just so you know, my colleague Tracy Schmidt and I covered this story in TIME in 2006: “Today’s Nun Has a Veil—and a Blog.” Just sayin’.)

I bring this up because I’m wondering if people make different career choices in a crappy economy. Like if you were dying to be a writer but took up financial planning to make a buck. Or if you really wanted to coach soccer but wound up in pharmaceutical sales. Or if you’d planned to flip mansions in Beverly Hills but embraced the relative stability—not to mention the spiritual fulfillment—of a religious vocation. Seriously.