Job, Career or a Calling

There are three ways to look at our work. Either we think it’s

  • a job,
  • it’s a career, or
  • we think it is our calling.

And at least one of these categories is very, very bad for us (no prizes for guessing which one though).


There was a study done by Dr Amy Wrzesniewski, Associate Professor on Development Psychology at Yales, that gives clear, scientific reasoning to our happiness with our work.

Work as Job: If you think you are doing a Job, you’re doing it for the money. You typically don’t like your job. The job is the least interesting part of your day.

Work as Career: If you think your work is your Career, you’re more interested in advancing through the positions. You are “career focused”.

Work as Calling: If you think your work is your Calling, you derive a lot of identity from your work, and your work is geared to be somehow socially rewarding: you’re more interested in contributing to the society at large. Money, although still important, takes a back seat.

An observation: People with Jobs are least happy (if happy at all!), people with Careers are more happy than people with jobs, and people who consider their work a Calling are most happy.


If you are doing a job, it is possibly better you read 7 Reasons to Quit Your Job.

If you are trying to make Career out of your job, this article may help.

And if your work is your Calling: let’s meet for tea someday?


I think – and I say this after considerable though to this: I am somewhere between a career and a calling. By God’s Ultimate Grace.

I know people who were stuck in Jobs and are now following their Calling. It is not only possible, but of course, something to aim for. This blog – given the above research – is a catalog of my journey from Job to Career to (inshAllah) Calling.

Question: Given the above categories, where do you think you are? Are you working a job, a career or is your work your calling? Let me know in the comments section or hit reply.


And yes, do you know anyone who can benefit from this? Do share it on Facebook, Twitter etc… they will thank you for it inshAllah. 🙂

* You can read the actual research by Amy Wrzesniewski here. And no, I couldn’t pronounce the last part of the name either. 🙂

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  1. Aadil

    Assalamualaikum Momekh,
    I’m certainly in a job and rightly mentioned by you not very happy 🙁 and just in it for the money. I think most people who or in a calling do have a side job or business because the calling doesn’t pay or doesn’t pay as much. Just like you I’d like to be somewhere between a career and a calling but have no idea where to start.

    • You can start by exploring your interests. And here’s a *ahem* MASTER TIP for you: Just add ventue 😉
      Seriously, just add a little something to your life, see how it goes. Add a small side business, take up a new sport.
      Just Add Venture is my English translation of the remarkable advice in Urdu: harkat may barkat
      حرکت میں برکت

  2. Good researched article really added alot to my knowledge. I am 70% career and 30% calling. I am very happy with the current situation. May be in the coming years I ll just cut the career by 10% making 60/40 ratio.

  3. Muhammad Arslan Tufail

    Somewhere between work as a job and work as a career.

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