Phase 2: Journeywork — Age 25 to 45
“Journeywork takes strength, endurance, and reliance upon ones Apprenticeship training and growing experience to complete the work.”
The Journeywork phase in the craft-of-life is comprised of the years of work after Apprenticeship age 25–45 by a competent but as yet undistinguished journeyman or journeywoman.
During this 20 year phase, the journeyman craftsperson distinguishes themselves by the quality of their craftwork in subjects across The Five Elements of life-as-a-craft.
The Journeywork Phase is filled with wide ranging contrasts; famine and feast, love and war, hope and despair. It is the time we raise our young families, practice our vocations, plant seeds for future harvests, try to make ends meet, and come face to face with the reality that the journey is indeed more arduous and full of more perils and opportunities than we had first imagined from within the inexperienced and structured world of our Apprenticeship.
Journeywork as its name means, is act of performing the ‘day’s work’. It is a test of endurance. A repetitive routine of often imperceptible gains punctuated by storms and at times fair winds that lift us out of our travail to remind us that there is both a destination and a purpose for the journey.
If it were a season, Journeywork would probably be summer. Unlike the springtime of Apprenticeship, whose tender blossom gives way to the greening leaf, Journeywork bears the full heat of the day on its back to produce the food to nourish and sustain through autumn and winter of years.
Journeywork takes strength, endurance, and reliance upon ones Apprenticeship training and growing experience to complete the work in the way of craftsmanship; full pleasure comes not only from what has been created: the finished work itself, but from the manner in which it has been done.
Today particularly in France and the German speaking countries, the Journeywork tradition is alive and well in many crafts and professions where young craftsmen and women are reviving the custom of journeying to visit and work with masters of their trade to build on their skills.
And while each craft and location have their own unique rites, rituals and codes of behavior, for those in the Journeywork phase in the craft of life, there are some key lessons from the traditional journeywork practices that we can apply to our own ‘daily-work’ of making a masterpiece of our lives:
Networking & Support
During the journeywork years, journeymen and women proactively share a kinship, by serving as guides to one another and by providing a professional network and emotional support. The same can be done to support those journeymen and journeywomen who approach life as a craft and the way of craftsmanship.
Traditional Journeymen carry a pocket-size diary to be filled with stamps from cities visited and testaments of work accomplished along the way. Traditionally these books were used as a résumé for finding work and as a travel journal. The journal is a record ‘proof’ of the ‘day work’ performed to distinguish oneself as a skilled craftsman. It is a journeyman’s tool.
Traditionally, a journeyman was not allowed to travel or seek work within a 60-kilometer radius of his hometown — a guideline intended to encourage an exchange of ideas among those practicing any given trade. Today, it still remains a way to ensure that journeymen and journeywomen develop the necessary independence to make their life a unique masterpiece.
What To Learn
If you are in the Journeyworks phase of life-as-a-craft, you will be at work practicing subjects from The Five Elements you first learned during your apprenticeship as well as diving deeper into those subjects building your knowledge and your skills in the subject. But you will also be choosing new subjects within each of the Five Elements as you move across the Journeyworks phase over the next 20 years or so.