The sense of being connected to something bigger than ourselves is an important part of having a sense of meaning in our lives. So when it comes to describing what you do each day at work to others do you have a job, a career or a calling?
If it’s simply a job you probably can’t wait to knock off each day, grab your pay cheque at the end of the week and get on with the joy of living your life. If it’s a career then you’ll be busy climbing the ladders of opportunity, promotion and power to be seen as the important person you are. But if it’s a calling then no doubt it brings you a sense of fulfillment because you believe your efforts are helping to make the world a little better.
But does the way you describe your work even really matter?
Can Any Job Be Turned Into A Calling?
Professor Amy Wrzesniewski has found when people see their work as a calling – rather than simply as a job or a career – they find what they’re doing more fulfilling, they work harder at it and generally are more likely to be rewarded accordingly.
Amy has tested her research with people in all sorts of different occupations, but the one that stuck with me most in terms of the simplicity and the power of a calling was her studies with hospital janitors.
It turns out a third of hospital janitors, whose job it is to sweep the floors, dust, and empty the wastebaskets for patients see their tasks as a calling.
They believe their work is essential to help people recover from illness by ridding the hospital of dangerous germs. And this belief makes their job not only more bearable, but more enjoyable as well.
While not all of us get to go to work each day and do something that could save someone’s life, in this episode of Chelle McQuaid TV I’ll show you how anyone can find their calling at work.
How Can You Find Your Calling?
Simon Sinek, one of the leading leadership researchers in the world found great leaders all shared one common element: they understand their why. They know what their purpose, their cause, their beliefs and their calling are.
And while most of us are pretty clear on the what we have to do in our jobs and even the how we’ll go about it. It’s startling to realize how many of us lack a clear why.
Sinek suggests one of the simplest ways to discover your why is to try and complete this sentence:
Everything I do is to _______ so that ________.
For example, mine goes something like this: Everything I do is to help bring out the best in myself and others, so that we can live in a world that is a little kinder. And while it sounds a little corny, it gets me out of bed each day.
So what would your answer be to find your calling? Everything I do is to _______ so that ________?
If your why doesn’t come straight away, don’t despair. This is a big question and it’s fine to play with ideas for a while until you find the calling that feels like it has your name on it.
Want more help finding your calling? Click here to watch Amy talking more about finding your calling at work or watch Simon Sinek talking about the importance of discovering your why.
How have you or could you turn a job or a career into a calling?