Are you excited about coming to work? Do you enjoy your job? 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. Manager guru, Peter Drucker, argued for several decades that managers must understand their employees as well as their customers. Few executives listened. Drucker concluded, “Business tends to drift from leadership to mediocrity. And the mediocre is three-quarters down the road to being marginal.” Yet, emerging leaders need to know how to rekindle such emotions in the workplace. In this session, we will discuss how one’s calling can transform an individual’s life in order to improve organizational performance.
Finding the right vocation in life is not easy. In fact, becoming more productive in life is a function of working in a career that is aligned with one’s abilities. A great many folks are doing jobs that they hate and do not fit their personality. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explain, “All people possess certain characteristics that influence how they think and their work.” Sadly, many organizations fail to understand this simple principle. Therefore, it is critical to know yourself and your personality. 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.
Most people settle for an occupation rather than a vocation. 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. In fact, this works out to 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 the priest. In the secular sense, individuals who can fully use all 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.” This mental awakening is happening across the nation. Thus, some people are able to tap into their own calling.
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.
In closing, individuals who follow their vocation will be happier in the long-term. In this session, we discussed how an individual’s vocation can transform a person’s life. As society pushes people to acquire more things in order to be happy, individuals can become unhappy with life. It is important that individuals take a personal assessment of their own career objectives in conjunction with their own calling. Let’s pray that it is not too late.
© 2019 by D.D. Green
About Dr. Daryl Green:
Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s business leaders. He is the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2016, he retired as a senior engineer and program manager with the Department of Energy after a successful career. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit www.drdarylgreen.com.