#491 Jobs, Careers, Callings

Which Do You Have? (Here’s How to Make It All Three)

In our last +1, we talked about you starting a hypothetical new job.

Today I want to talk about the science of jobs, careers, and callings.

In Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman tells us about the “three kinds of ‘work orientation’: a job, a career, and a calling.”

He says that, in short:

If you’re simply showing up, punching the clock and getting paid, you have a Job.

If, on the other hand, you’re committed to mastering a given domain and working your way up the ladder of success you have a Career.

And… If you have “a passionate commitment to work for its own sake,” you have a Calling.

He makes the important point that “any job can become a calling, and any calling can become a job. … A physician who views the work as a Job and is simply interested in making a good income does not have a Calling, while a garbage collector who sees the work as making the world a cleaner, healthier place could have a Calling.”

Job. Career. Calling.

It’s all in how you approach it.

Here’s another perspective on it: Positive Psychologists based their whole field of research on operationalizing ancient virtues and finding ways to put those virtues in action. They have a little assessment I HIGHLY recommend that helps you identify what they call your “signature strengths.” Putting THOSE virtues in action is the cornerstone of flourishing. It’s also a cornerstone of making your work a Calling.

As Seligman says: “If you can find a way to use your signature strengths at work often, and also see your work as contributing to the greater good, you have a calling.”

My signature strengths? Creativity. Hope and Optimism. Energy and Enthusiasm. Courage. Wisdom. Kindness and Generosity.

I’ve worked hard to craft my life such that I can engage in those strengths day in and day out in service to something bigger than myself. I feel blessed to have (when my perspective allows it!) a calling.

And… Personally, I kinda like the idea of transcending and including ALL THREE perspectives on work.

I want to show up with my lunch pail, do some pounding like a Professional as I do my “Job” well. I ALSO want to master my domain as I create a great “Career.” AND… I want to do all that while using my gifts in greatest service to the world “Calling” style.

How about you?

How’s your Job/Career/Calling?

How can you shift your perspective a tad Today to make whatever you’re doing an awesome integration of that trifecta?!

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