Thursday, January 13, 2011

Working Relationship

The work we do (our ‘jobs’) takes up a significant portion of our lives and can be a source of drudgery or a source of elation (or a mix of emotions). The nature of the work itself could give rise to these emotions but a significant role is played by the way individuals view their work. According to experts, an individual can have three different relations with his or her work – Job, Career, Calling.

Job: People with a job orientation primarily see their work as a means to an end. They consider work as a mean to pay for necessities, support their families, and maximize their leisure time. The major interests and ambitions of Job holders are not expressed through their work.

Career: People with a career orientation have a deep personal involvement with their work. They primarily see work as a conduit to achievement and higher social standing. They are principally motivated by the challenge of work, increased self-esteem and the possibility of enhancing their status (social and organizational standing).

Calling: People with a calling orientation perceive their work as intrinsically enjoyable and fulfilling. They do not work for the financial gain or status enhancement and permeate their work with personal and social meaning. The work is usually associated with the belief that the work contributes to the greater good and makes the world a better place.

Individuals with a career orientation or a calling orientation are more deeply involved with their work as compared to those with a job orientation. Only for those with a calling orientation, work is an enriching and meaningful activity.

Although work orientation is more of an individual perspective, it has significant effects on the work group. In teams where the number of members with a calling orientations is higher, there is overall higher identification with the team, more commitment and healthier group processes. For teams with majority of career oriented members, there is weaker identification with the team, more conflict, less commitment to the team itself and more negative group processes.


Rachel said...

Has there been a study showing what percentage of the population falls into each category? I'm guessing most people have a job orientation, some have a career orientation, while only a few have a calling. I would like to think I have a career (after all, I got a master's degree to enter my field), but too often my work ends up falling into the job category.

vsb said...

Lucky is the person who makes his living through his calling. Jobs are sapping. Careers are for those for who know how to turn a job into means of self advancement - at all possible levels. Calling is responding to the call of the inner voice which promises a sense of fulfillment like nothing else.

elisa freschi said...

Is it really possible to make one's living through one's calling? Does not money somehow ruin the purity of one's calling? Is not it the case for most people that one has either a job or a career and follows one's calling in one's free time?

VS said...

Rachel, you are right. Another interesting observation towards which you hint is that people may find different aspects of their work as a job or calling at different times.

VS said...

vsb, find a calling is a matter of luck and many times it requires preparation and an ability to believe in ones 'dreams'.

VS said...

Elisa, I would like to believe that if you really find your calling, money might come. However its a fact that pursuing your calling sometimes may not allow you to have the level of material comfort which your career might allow. Then one way would be to pursue the calling in your leisure time.