FourWays to Spend More Time Looking for a Calling vs. a Job
There are fundamental differences between a job and a calling. From the moment you are
initially looking for a position to finally accepting an offer, there are creative ways to find
a sense of purpose in what you will do. Considering the amount of time you will spend
working, aiming for a calling may provide you with the best path to happiness.
-Spend time identifying your unique attributes. Look for positions that allow you to work
on activities that will make you feel in “*flow.”
-Broaden your horizons by gaining new experiences, such as traveling the world and
spend time working with people from different backgrounds.
- Look for a position with descriptions that sound more like creative invitations to join a
company, and seek companies that outline their mission, vision and values to determine if
they match yours.
-Look for opportunities to grow and “rehire”yourself by finding informal moments to
learn, teach and inspire.
After spending five years interviewing and working with senior leaders, I found that
many executives take several years understanding their personal mission and aligning
that with their true calling. For some, that moment never arrives and leads to paying the
price as a consequence. Maintaining a job without purpose leads to poor decision-making,
and challenges related to relationships and health.
Previous research on work orientation by Amy Wrzesniewskidivided people’s
perception of their work into three subgroups: jobs, careers and callings.
People who perceive their work as a job are motivatedby the paycheck. They look
forward to Fridays and vacations.
People who perceive their work as a career aremore motivated bysalary gains and
the prestige involved with career advancement. They look forward to the next
People who perceive their work as a calling are motivatedby thetasks and goals
themselves;they mirror who they are, and are aligned with their personal values
and interests. Their expectation is to make the world a better place, and they look
forward to more work.
#jobs #purpose #flow #recruiting
I have personally been on the search for a calling for awhile, and now I am convinced
that this is a life long process. Realistically, some people may have to transition or take
smaller steps to identify their true calling starting with a one-dimensional job followed by
a career. If you are fortunate enough to land a calling right after graduation, or decide to
open your own enterprise, congratulations! But for the majority, the least we can do is to
keep searching for meaningful work and not just settle for a job.
Since I have returned tohelping students find meaningful work,I am pleased to share the
following advice aboutfinding your calling:
1. Spend time identifying your strengths: Scientifically validated assessments are the
best way to understand your strengths by comparing yours to those of top
performers. When I worked with senior leaders, I would suggest to them to start
by asking themselves the following question:What activities are those which
make you feel in “*flow” This concept was introduced by
MihalyCsikszentmihalyi. It happens when your use your talents, skills and
abilities to push yourself to work througha challenge that you can handle well, so
when you are in flow you feel in synch while learning and perhaps discovering
2. Travel the world: There is no better learning tool than the world itself. By going
out of your comfort zone, you may find environments, people and places where
you gain insight about yourself and truly determine your strengths and joys.
Consider factors such as weather, population, lifestyle, activities, etc. By traveling
you may find your dream place and you should start working towards moving
there or to a city similar in qualities. For some careers, this may be more
restrictive; however, the world is a big place if you open your search criteria you
may be pleasantly surprised.
3. Be selective when seeking work. Look for position descriptions that sound more
like creative invitations and have the potential to match your calling.
Understanding a company’s mission, vision and values is essential to determine
the right fit for you.
4. And finally, if you are employed, look for opportunities to rehire yourself by
finding informal moments to learn, teach, and helpothers which willidentify
activities that match your calling. Getting involved in volunteer committees,
social groups and charitable causes are some ways in which you could start
transforming your job into a calling.
#jobs #purpose #flow #recruiting