Which of the following best describes your bond to your work?
a. pays very well. It supports my family and my expensive hobbies (a job).
b. offers a good career path. I can see several promotions in my future (a career).
c. gives me a sense of purpose. I can make a real contribution (a calling).
Yale University professor, Dr. Wrzesniewski, explains that employees typically identify their work in three ways: a job, a career, or a calling.
Whether your work is a “calling” depends on two things: job fit and how you choose to view your work.
A good job fit occurs when your natural talents, plus your acquired knowledge and skills, allow you to perform your work tasks well. It is your decision as to whether you view your work as a calling.
Those who see their work as a calling tend to be more satisfied and more highly motivated to perform well. Of course, work that is a calling may also offer a good career path and good pay.
As the late humorist Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
How about adding d) something you do that pays well enough, until you can get hired into a better (and better paying) job?
Linda, thank you for your insightful comment. I understand that we may sometimes have to take a job that we may not be passionate about because we have to pay the bills. I would put this into the “job” category and hope that it could lead to opportunities that may be more similar to a “calling,” or at least a good “career” position.