When it comes to your life’s work, there are three main approaches that people have. Neither of these are necessarily better than another, because it ultimately is a decision made by each individual.
Seeing your work as your job means that what you do is merely for the purpose of paying the bills. A person that goes to work to get paid simply sees money as the end result. People in this category usually don’t care about the background or content of their work as long as it provides them a means of income.
Seeing your work as a career tells a story about yourself. It creates a narrative of your life, and it makes you feel good about yourself because you’re able to garner some fulfillment through your work beyond simply paying the bills.
Seeing your work as a calling places the work that you do more important than your own needs at times. People who see their work as a calling are usually people who are willing to do what they do for free, because that is how much they believe in the things that they do.
Of course, not everyone has to find such fulfillment in the work that they do. Many people see their work as a job in order to pay the bills and give them the ability to fulfill their calling in their families or other communities. There’s nothing inherently wrong with seeing your work a particular way.
However, it is important to understand your own perspective as well as the perspectives of the people you interact with in order to understand where someone else may be coming from.
What’s very interesting today is that most millennials want to see their work as a calling. Generation Y seems to trend toward asking the questions of “what is my work’s purpose?” or “why do I do what I do?” and not settle for the same reasons of generations past.
What do you see your work as?