I consider myself lucky to have not contracted COVID-19 and have wondered many times what…
Figuring out our purpose on this earth is a lifelong pursuit, a quandary that man has been asking himself for eons. When most people think of following a “calling”, what we’re referring to is the underlying desire to find true purpose and fulfillment in the work we choose to do, to find meaning in our lives. Scientifically speaking, those who do think of their job as a calling tend to:
- be more satisfied with their jobs
- be more satisfied with their lives
- be more engaged with their work
Do you consider your job your calling? If you don’t feel connected to your work like that, and you’re not in what you’d consider your dream job, there’s still a way to find the meaning, purpose, and fulfillment you crave in your current calling.
What Does A Calling Look Like?
We all know someone who seems to really love their job. For example, there is a woman named Lucy at the grocery store I frequent who loves her job. She knows customers’ names and asks about our families as she rings up our groceries. I do not ever remember her being grumpy or unfriendly and she has worked there for years. I seek her out and will wait in her line just so I can have that friendly interaction with her each time. It’s very obvious to anyone who goes through Lucy’s line that she finds meaning—joy, even—in her job. She could choose to see checking people’s groceries as boring and tedious. Instead Lucy chooses to treat every customer with the warmth, friendliness and attention that you’d probably only expect from your closest friends. Her attitude is so infectious that it literally draws people to her. You can have that, too, even in your current job.
How to Find Meaning in Your Work
There’s a deliberate process to finding fulfillment in your job. Some people think that once they find the right job working for the right people, that all the stars will align and suddenly you’ll have “found your calling.” While this might happen for some people, for most of us this isn’t the case. “Job crafting” is the process by which you personally craft the boundaries of your job to make it more meaningful, which is something you can do yourself when you:
Recognize the Freedom You Have Within Your Job. Even when you feel hindered by something within your job (a manager, a frustrating problem, etc.), you have the ability to recognize what your organization expects you to accomplish and find out what your degrees of freedom can be.This could mean customizing how you get work done, changing how you interact with co-workers, and providing the best possible experience for the people who benefit from your job. When you can customize some of these elements, you’ll encounter a greater deal of satisfaction and freedom in your job, no matter what it is.
Embody the Mission of Your Organization. This means trying to do everything you can to ensure an outcome that benefits someone else. Sometimes this requires going above and beyond your actual job description. Lucy’s boss probably doesn’t tell her to get to know every customer personally. But Lucy recognizes the grocery store’s mission of providing a pleasant, quality experience for its customers. By having engaging encounters with each person that comes through her line, Lucy is indeed embodying the store’s overall objective…but with her own personal touch.
I feel lucky because I already think of my job as a calling. I even think of myself as a healer, which is very fulfilling. My job gives me great satisfaction because I enjoy the work, and I love knowing that I play a role in assisting my clients and their bodies in the healing process. Whether I am giving a relaxation massage or a therapeutic massage, the massage has many health benefits for them, and I find joy in bringing that to my clients. Whatever you do for a living, I hope that you can find fulfillment in it!