On Jobs, Careers and Callings

The three paths of job, career and calling provide individuals with different opportunities to pursue their life goals. A job provides employment to earn an income and may involve temporary or part-time work. A career is a long-term pursuit of a profession or occupation that may involve numerous job changes. A calling is about one’s inspiration not necessarily related to money or status but comes with its own intrinsic rewards. Whether you are working for financial gains, trying to climb the corporate ladder or searching for a profound sense of purpose and meaning, this article will serve as a useful guide to help you make informed decisions on the path that you should take.

Exploring Your Options

Exploring your options when deciding between a job, a career or a calling is an important step in achieving your life goals. It is a complex process shaped by numerous considerations such as one’s personality, lifestyle preferences, external circumstances, professional experience and commitment level. You will need to  consider your unique circumstances for each of them carefully before arriving at your ultimate decision.      

Personality and Lifestyle Preferences

One of the foundational considerations is your personality and lifestyle preferences. Consider the attributes that define you, such as your personality traits, your motivations, your desire for work-life balance and job satisfaction. How do all these align with the demands of a job, a career or a calling? Assessing this alignment can provide invaluable insights into which path may resonate most with your core self.

External Circumstances

External circumstances often play a pivotal role in shaping our choices. Factors like financial obligations, family responsibilities and health conditions can influence your decision. A stable job and consistent income may be the prudent choice when financial security is a top priority, whereas the pursuit of a calling will be more tenable when external pressures are less demanding.

Professional Experience and Aspirations

Your prior work experiences, technical skills and aspirations also factor into the equation. Do you possess the competencies and expertise required for a career or a calling in your chosen field? Or perhaps your current skill set is better suited for a particular job? Though you may not possess what it takes for your chosen career or calling now, recognizing the gaps is the first step to closing them. It is perfectly okay to take up a job first while you acquire knowledge and skills necessary to make up for the lack of previous experience.     

Level of Commitment

What is the level of commitment you are willing to invest in your chosen path? Are you prepared for the dedication and perseverance demanded by a career or a calling? Or do you seek the flexibility and reduced obligation offered by a job? It is important to be truthful to yourself on the amount of effort and time that you are willing to put into your professional life versus your personal life.

When a Job Evolves into a Career, and a Career Blossoms into a Calling

Unfortunately, people are not always afforded the luxury of pursuing their preferred path when it comes to their professional lives. This could be due to multiple reasons, such as financial constraints, personal challenges, limited opportunities for advancement or companies not hiring. As a result, some may end up securing jobs that serve as a means of survival rather than fulfillment. A sense of burnout often emerges in such cases due to the monotony of work, resulting in “quiet quitting” – a phenomenon where individuals perform the minimum required to maintain employment, devoid of ambition or enthusiasm.

However, when a job that one lands in turns out to be a job they enjoy and resonate with, it can lead them to discover a new career path. Those who are fortunate enough to find a career that aligns with their values or beliefs tend to relish their work and actively strive to expand their skills and knowledge, which allows them to reach new heights within their career field and gain greater life satisfaction in general.

For people who find their career, there is a chance it may lead to the realization that their career choice is in fact their true calling – work that not only brings personal joy but also resonates deeply with an individual’s sense of purpose and meaning in life. When this happens, they will put all their passion, dedication, energy and creativity into what they are doing naturally. This is the kind of work that many people dream of, the kind that gives them great satisfaction, genuine happiness and a meaningful existence.

In conclusion, while external factors can sometimes affect one’s choices, it is not impossible to shape one’s professional path. A job can evolve into a career when it aligns with one’s passions and interests, setting the stage for enhanced  personal growth. For some fortunate individuals, a career may even evolve into a calling, ushering in a sense of purpose and meaning that transcends the traditional notions of work. Ultimately, the decision between a job, a career or a calling rests with each individual, shaped by their unique circumstances, aspirations and resilience. 

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