Some people insist they have been called to a specific vocation, while others merely work a job. “Scholars from a variety of disciplines have begun to explore what it means to have a calling and how this relates to outcomes, consistently finding calling to be associated with enhanced work-related and general eudemonic well-being,” said Ryan D. Duffy of the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida. “Moreover, barriers may exist that limit people’s abilities to carry out their callings, thereby impeding the potential positive psychological effects of having one.” Duffy recently led a study to discover if people who were living their calling were more satisfied and committed in their jobs than those who were not. In other words, Duffy asked, “More simply, what is it about having a calling that makes individuals more satisfied at school and work?”
Duffy theorized that of the 201 adults he interviewed for his study, the ones that were living their calling would report the highest levels of career satisfaction. After evaluating the responses of the participants, Duffy realized that not only was his hypothesis validated, but that people living their callings were also less concerned about income than those who were merely working a job. “This finding supports the inclusion of living a calling in the relation between perceiving a calling and job satisfaction and the need to focus attention on this construct in future research on calling,” said Duffy. “Considering the integral role that work plays in the identities, lives, and well-being of adults around the world, counselors must be prepared to address and utilize interventions related to the work domain. At a basic level, as supported by this study and other research, it is recommended that practitioners explore the relevance of calling to clients’ work experience.” He added, “These results have clear implications for practitioners that include the therapeutic aim of helping clients increase their perceptions and experience of living out a calling in the work domain so that enhanced career commitment, work meaning, and subsequent work satisfaction might result.”
Duffy, R. D., Bott, E. M., Allan, B. A., Torrey, C. L., & Dik, B. J. (2011, November 7). Perceiving a Calling, Living a Calling, and Job Satisfaction: Testing a Moderated, Multiple Mediator Model. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026129
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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