Is it a Job, a Career, or a Calling?

New Mindset For New Result

How do your team members define their work?

Mindset plays a huge role in our level of happiness, and performance at our work. While studying cleaning staff at the University Hospital, Amy Wrzesniewski’s team learned that there was a great variance in how team members who did the same work described their role. Some of the cleaners described the job descriptions such as cleaning rooms. Others, who had the same tasks to complete, described themselves as an ambassador of the Hospital. So what does this mean?

  1. Individuals, who view their role as a “JOB” of specific tasks they must complete, tend to be less content and see their work as a means to a paycheque. As a result, while they may complete the tasks, their level of satisfaction is lower. Meaning that they may be less committed to your organization.
  2. Those who described their work as “CAREER”, where work is a requirement and success is strived for, tend to be more successful, yet focus on what they gain as a result. That might be seeking recognition and a paycheque.
  3. The third group who view their work as a “CALLING”, tend to work harder and find their work much more meaningful. In addition, they tend to have greater job satisfaction and higher commitment to their organization.

How do you increase those with a calling in your organization and minimize the “jobbers”?

  1. Consider how you listen in job interviews. Are individuals talking about the purpose of the work? You might wish to ask questions like, “What was most purposeful in your work at XYZ Company?”, or “What was most meaningful to you in your last position?” Listen for tasks being described vs. purpose driven words such as “it meant a lot to me”, or their values being identified.
  2. For those who are currently your team members, it can be helpful to ask them to list their required job tasks. Then ask them to take the time to write down their responses to, “What is the value of this task?”, and “What is the greater purpose of this task”. Then have them ask themselves, “What bigger result does fulfilling this task lead to?”
    Encourage them to keep writing and answering these 3 questions until they reach a purpose or value that is meaningful to them. Once they uncover that they have more of a “calling”, they are more likely to engage in the task simply to work on purpose!

Mindset determines how much we dedicate to each task – the more meaning we place on any given task, the more of a calling and less of a chore it becomes. Shifting from a list of “to dos” to a list of purposeful responsibilities will increase happiness and contribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>