Job Career or Calling
Yale psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski conducted a seminal study on the different ways people can view their work – as jobs, careers, or callings
By the 30th of the month, most of the salaried classes gets that sweet SMS “Your account has been credited with xxx”. For many, that is the end of what they look for in a job. Financial Resources that can help them enjoy life outside work. Is your work just a Means to an End? Often, I hear my batch mates saying that had it not been for the EMIs, the kids’ education; they would have stopped working. They are doing just a JOB. They maybe wanted to be in the film industry but since there was risk, they ended up being accountants. Family, friends and hobbies now matter more than their professional pursuits
Some work for CAREER. Career professionals are also working for the pay check (let’s be honest, who isn’t?), but they are more driven to seek out opportunities for advancement in the workplace
Maybe can we design jobs in such a way that work is an End in Itself? Work becomes your inner CALLING. So maybe, you are driven by self-fulfilment needs, the quest to leave behind a legacy, to achieve your true potential, to create impact. You love your job so much that you would get upset if you were to get a million dollars and be asked to stop working. That’s why many people find it difficult to retire. They find work so fulfilling. Many HR leaders we meet are so deeply connected to their work emotionally.
It appears that changing your perspective will determine largely whether you call your work as a calling instead of “just a job”. Maybe you will have to see how that accounting work you are doing is so integral to the organisation’s success, meeting the expectations of various stakeholders. Now you are choosing to see yourself as the person who keeps the ship sailing, not just a SAP data entry operator.
Maybe if I feel frustrated seeing myself as a recruitment consultant, chasing candidates and HRs for my “bread and butter”, assessing candidates, sending CVs, lining up interviews……… Or maybe I can see myself as owner of CAJobPortal.com, an initiative that has helped hundreds of finance professionals start their careers or make career transitions – the job postings which have ignited hope in the minds of budding CAs while studying that they would be employable once they qualify in the exams.
Wrzesniewskitermed it as “crafting” – redesigning your responsibilities to better leverage your strengths. To do this for yourself, start by filling in the blank: “The best part of my workday is when I __________.”
“Research have found that even the smallest tasks can be imbued with great meaning when they are connected with personal goals and values.”
Maybe if you can get that alignment right, you are fulfilling your calling, one day at a time. And you just might start loving your job.