No matter what we see as the primary purpose of our work, it is clear that if we can find more meaning in it, then we are likely to be more effective, more purposeful, and happier. For some people, this means seeing their work as their calling.
This does not mean that our work will always have the potential to be our calling. Some work, for some people, in some circumstances, will not have the potential to be a calling. The work can still have important meaning, however, even if its value is primarily in support of other values (such as providing support for our families).
Sociologists sometimes use a classification system developed in 1985 by Robert Bellah and colleagues to categorize attitudes towards work into three categories:
- A job, meaning we primarily exchange our time and energy for money.
- A career, in other words a vocation to which we are committed and in which we expect to advance.
- A calling – something we believe we are meant to do.
All of these categories can be important and valuable, though our focus in this article is on the importance and value of callings in particular.
In this episode we talk about what it means to have a calling, and how we might develop or find it.
About the Faith and Enterprise Podcast
Each Monday we release a new podcast episode dealing with Spiritual Renewal in Our Work Lives. Topics include finding purpose/work as a calling, spiritual practices that can help us in our work, dealing with workplace stress and other forms of workplace toxicity, spiritual aspects of leadership, and building a flourishing work life. We invite you to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or listen on our website. You can also subscribe to email updates when we release new material.