Does your work really matter to you? Do you see that it can have purpose and meaning? Or, is it just a job or a career … a means to an end?
Yale psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski has made a living out of studying how the mental perceptions we have about our jobs affect performance. After many years and hundreds of interviews with workers in every conceivable profession, she has found that employees have one of three mindsets about our work. We view our work as a Job, a Career, or a Calling.
Read on … I think you will appreciate her findings.
“People with a “job” see work as a chore and their paycheck as the reward. They work because they have to and constantly look forward to the time they can spend away from their job.
By contrast, people who view their work as a “career” work not only out of necessity, but also to advance and succeed. They are invested in their work and want to do well.
Finally, people with a “calling” view work as an end in itself; their work is fulfilling not because of external rewards but because they feel it contributes to the greater good, draws on their personal strengths, and gives them meaning and purpose.”
I think we can all relate to these three categories. The question is, do you really want to find your calling? Or, are you just satisfied in your job or career?
Of our 7 Pillars of Faith and Work, after Balance, vocational Calling is the biggest issue we hear about in our day-to-day work at WorkMatters. Everyone wants their work to mean something.
So how do you get there? Is it possible to get there? Absolutely! But, it’s a process that you will have to commit to and be patient with. Ask anyone working in their calling and they will tell you unequivocally that it is worth it!
- Start and end with prayer and reading the Bible – Oh, you didn’t know it was going to be this hard. Seriously, if you are a Christian, any desired life change must start and end with seeking God’s will. Be consistent and patient.
- Evaluate and develop your skills and gifts – pursuing your vocational calling will require a strong understanding of the skills you have or need to develop. We recommend StrengthsFinder 2.0.
- Write down what you are learning – The path forward will be illuminated as you write down what you are learning and thinking.
- Talk to your circle of advisors – This is critical. Henry Blackaby said that God speaks in four ways: bible, prayer, circumstances and people.
- When you know, you’ll know – And when you know, the hardest step is ahead of you. Will you have the courage to pursue what you feel God is calling you to do in this season of your life?
One caveat. Work was not cursed in the garden (read Genesis 3:17-19), but God promised us that it would be hard. When you find your vocational calling, it will not be nirvana. You will still need to be equipped to genuinely live your faith in and through your work (we can help!). However, there is nothing sweeter than being in a company and a job with people that you feel God has placed you with!
It is worth the struggle. Don’t devote your life to just doing a job or being satisfied with a career. Explore where you feel God wants you in this season of your life and then do it with all your heart (Colossians 3:23)!
We would love to hear your stories!
Excerpt From: Achor, Shawn. “The Happiness Advantage.” Crown Business, 2010-09-14. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.