Do You Have a Job, a Career, or a Calling?
People typically see their work as a job, a career, or a calling. Those who view their work as a job do it mainly to earn a living. People who see their work as a career are interested in money, responsibility, and advancement. People who consider their work a calling believe the work they do serves an important purpose. They do the work for its own sake, not for financial or other benefits. They are passionate about what they do because they feel they are making a difference in the world.
Interestingly, whether or not people experience their work as a calling does not depend on the actual work they do. People in any occupation can have a job, career, or calling orientation. Meaning comes from how they understand the work they do, not the work itself. The fact is most any job has social value. So what matters is that the person recognize the value of the work he or she does.
In a classic example, a traveler happens upon 3 stonemasons hard at work. He asks them each in turn what they are doing. The first one responds that he is “cutting stone.” The second says he is “preparing a foundation.” The third stonemason declares that he is “building a cathedral!” In a modern day example, a hospital janitor explains that his work is as important as the work of the surgeons because if he doesn’t keep the hospital clean patients won’t get better.
People who view the work they do as a calling experience a sense of meaning that boosts their positivity. They are happier and, as a result, more likely to succeed. So how do you view your work? And what about your employees? Do they see the value of the work they do?