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How do we choose work that expresses our calling?

Job seekers / Career Transition Explorers: How do we choose work that expresses our calling?

In my post last week, I shared the definition of a job, career and calling by Richard J Leider and David A Shapiro from their book ‘Work Reimagined’.


In this post, I’ll put together some of their thoughts on how we can choose the type of work that communicates our calling.


The authors state that a good job, career or calling blends our gifts, passions and values together.

How do we figure out our gifts?

The authors explain our gifts as special talents we were born with, gifts that are innate or natural; what we consistently and enjoy giving to others.


One way to discover this is by asking this question: “What gift was I expressing the last time I was so absorbed that I lost track of time?” What was it about what you were doing that kept you going? Do you see a common thread in the other activities you enjoy doing?


One of the times I lost track of time was when I was researching, reading up and getting prepared to write an article.

How do we figure out our passions?

The authors state that when we connect our gifts to our passions, we have a ‘clear reason to get up in the morning’. How do we figure out our passions?


These are some of the questions they included to help us find out:

🤔 What are you curious about?

🤔 What issues or causes really move you?

🤔 What problems in the world or work world do you think need solving?


Passions are the issues we care most deeply about. Passions can be specific or broad or somewhere in the middle. And passions are only passions if they are “alive” or in other words we feel them deeply.


Here are a few more questions they included in the chapter:

🤔 What keeps you up at night?

🤔 What do you think is worth doing with your time?

🤔 What do you obsess about?

🤔 What challenges do you think need solving?

🤔 What am I constantly reading about and talking to people about?


You’ll find that common themes emerging as you answer these questions which will give you a better sense of what your passions really are.


On a side note, maybe ask people you know if they have noticed a certain trend of thought you have to discover if people have been noticing what your passions are! I know someone who is passionate about helping those in need by providing them what they need and beyond and really goes out of his way to make it happen!

How do we figure out our values?

The authors explain values as the expression of our deepest beliefs. They expose our individuality, how we express ourselves. They are the markers that that guide our gifts and passions. Our values determine what type of environments we are likely to be most successful and fulfilled. Two of us may have similar gifts and passions but may have quite different values.


They say that ‘when we are working in environments that are consistent with our core values, we feel energised and enthusiastic about what we are doing.’


Some of the questions they have asked to discover our values include:

🧐 What environments are best for you to work in?

🧐 How do you prefer to operate in the world of work?

🧐 What type of work culture best suits your style?


Have you figured out what type of work communicates your calling? Or maybe you’ve realised that you are already living out your calling. If you’re still figuring it out, maybe you’d like to borrow the book from your library.


The book has a section with an activity that helps us name our calling – ‘that gift which is invisible but wants to be unwrapped and given away’. It is an activity of self-examination and can be done free online or by following the steps in the book.


The authors add: ‘calling is not our job, it is what we bring to our job...it is not what you do that matters, it is how you do it’. If you’re curious to find out your calling, look for the book.




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