Work is a financial necessity for almost everyone, along with the sacrifices work sometimes demands. It can be drudgery. But work also can be fun and exciting. The competition can be energizing. Work can be an important and positive part of our lives.
I learned a lot about this from Amy Wrzesniewski and her work with job crafting (PDF). She describes three attitudes about work — what she calls jobs, careers, and callings. These three attitudes can indicate how satisfied individuals are in the workplace. Identifying your own outlook toward work can help you define what you need — or want — in your professional life.
People with a “jobs” mindset are working for the money and contain their time at work. All of the people I’ve known with this attitude tend to be dissatisfied, finding little meaning in what they do. They also are generally looking for something new.
Careerists work for advancement, pay, and prestige. I’ve seen careerists with widely different levels of happiness and satisfaction. If they think they’re “winning,” they’re happy. But others are concerned they’re not advancing at the pace they want, or they’re not in the role they deserve. While not entirely dissatisfied, they often wonder whether they’re being treated fairly or if there’s something better.
But people with callings are different. They see their work as a positive end in itself. They feel good about what they’re doing. They give more to their work. They get more from it. And here’s a secret about people with callings: Not only are they happy and fulfilled, they’re often very successful, sometimes bringing financial rewards.
Why do I make everything that I do a calling?
Whether it’s a charity project, a small contract, a handyman job around the house or this Website. I have only one speed – a calling. When every one else treats it as a job I treat it as life or death. This tends to annoy everyone else. I strongly believe in the philosophy of Lead, Follow or get out of the way. If there is no leader than I anoint myself and start issuing orders to the great consternation of those around me. I like to get things done.
I know this is the opposite of many ADDers. Now, I am gun-shy of starting projects for fear of it consuming me.
Anyone else have a solution?