One of the catalysts in the Big Quit, the recent flood of resignations hitting businesses these days, is the dream of having a job that provides more personal meaning. This is a good thing if the end result…the new job… allows an individual to contribute in significant ways to the world. Certainly, the world needs more help than ever!
But it is a myth to think that career or job must be identical to calling. It is this myth that might be causing so much angst about work. People are finding it difficult to identify that perfect alignment of job and destiny.
Don’t get me wrong – it is possible to have that 100% overlap of calling and career. Many nurses, for example, whose deep sense of purpose revolves around caring for the needs of others, can’t believe their good fortune of getting paid to do that every day! Or law enforcement officers who feel destined to confront injustice will work long hours doing just that in very tough conditions.
But many (most?) people can be quite satisfied living their life spread between a job they enjoy while bringing in a salary, and a calling that contributes to the world in meaningful ways. I’m thinking of one of my clients who has a successful IT career, yet would tell you his calling is being a mentor to young men hungry for direction.
Another option is in integrating job and calling. I’ve written in my book of a young man, Brandon, whose job is a high school teacher, but his calling is to bring healing to racism however he can. Brandon integrated career and purpose when he signed up to sponsor his school’s Black Student’s Association.
Determining which it will be for you…a job distinct from your calling, a job integrated with your calling or a job identical to your calling…begins with identifying your “why” to live for. Once you have identified that thing which calls you to your greatest contribution to the world, you can then figure out how it can affect your employment.
It could, indeed, reveal to you that you need to quit and look for another job, or you might just discover that your career path and calling can weave together nicely into a life of deep meaning.