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).

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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6 Comments

  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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