What would it be like if you worked in a job you truly enjoyed? If you feel under-utilized in your organization, you are not alone. On a routine basis, many employees force themselves to work without a clear purpose. Numerous people work to maintain their daily bread without ever doing what they love. Sadly, many managers are unable to inspire today’s workforce toward greater performance. Yet, emerging leaders need to know how to rekindle such emotions in the workplace. Through this blog, we will discuss how one’s calling can transform an individual’s life and perhaps improve organizational performance.
The Career Calling
Becoming more productive in life is a function of working in a career that is aligned with one’s abilities and skills. Many organizations fail to understand this simple principle. As a consequence, they have people in jobs that do not fit their abilities. Yes, the organization knows the individual’s education and career experience. However, managers are unable to understand the worker’s ability without input from that worker. There is a distinct difference between an occupation and a vocation. An occupation relates to the principal activity in an individual’s life that earns money for living.
Some people, due to their own financial situation, are forced to work in jobs they hate. Others must occupy jobs where they are overqualified; this speaks to the issue of underemployment in our nation. Yet, many folks are slaves to their jobs simply because of the income. This situation can lead to stress, depression, and unhappiness. In fact, some people take desperate measures. According to one study, more than 30,000 Americans take their lives annually (more than three suicides for every two murders).
A vocation is a natural alignment with one’s ability. Vocation relates to a career which a person is particularly suited or qualified to perform. Some individuals credit this special alignment to a divine provocation. In the medieval Christian period, it was believed that God called certain people and their work was a “calling.” This calling was usually reserved for the clergy and priest. In the secular sense, individuals who can fully use all of their talents in a way that liberates them can make great contributions in society.
However, it does invoke a different mental journey. Marsha Sinetar, author of Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, argues that individuals rarely take the time for introspection: “Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfill responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.” I have seen this mental awakening all around me. I have seen my co-workers in various occupations pursue other careers. Cavanaugh Mims was one of these co-workers. He was on the fast-track to a senior position at the Department of Energy. He was a great communicator and influencer.
Yet, Cavanaugh had an entrepreneurial spirit within him. One day, he simply packed his bags at his office to chase his vision. At the time, most people thought he was insane. His consulting business started as a gleam in Cavanaugh’s eye without any financial security blanket. Today, Visionary Solutions, LLC is a multi-million dollar business. Thus, some people are able to tap into their own calling. In fact, I am coming to this revelation about my own career aspirations.
Therefore, it is important that individuals take the time to learn what they enjoy and what they are good at. This reality will lead them to their special calling. In fact, one has a calling when he or she realizes what can be done with his or her God-given abilities. Once this career revelation is realized, an individual can then take the journey toward greater happiness and job performance.
As society pushes people to acquire more things in order to be happy, we become unhappy with life. It is important that individuals take a personal assessment of their own career objectives in conjunction with their own calling. High performance organizations know they must factor the human capital variable in their corporate strategies. Therefore, organizations that understand how to tap into an employee’s calling will have a competitive advantage because they will maximize the talents of their workforce. In the future, there will be a global war for talent. Businesses that understand this fact will continue to have sustainable growth. The ones that miss it will be at a competitive disadvantage.
How can organizations tap into innate calling to increase performance of their employees? While working in jobs that underutilize their abilities, how do employees develop and enhance their abilities?
© 2010 by Daryl D. Green