Earlier this week I had the honor of being in the presence of someone who was leaning in on his "calling"...during the day he is an accomplished Project Manager in the learning and development space. By night he leads career transition groups in the Atlanta area. He also does a blog called mrl8nite - before your mind gets away from you, it's a blog focused on the job search. When I complimented him on his depth / breadth of knowledge and his energy sharing his insights / expertise for those in their own career transition, he responded humbly "Always glad to work with job seekers. A calling." It got me thinking...a calling -vs- a job...?
This blog is dedicated to those who have found their calling and those wishing / wanting they found theirs!
What is a calling?
It's defined simply as "a strong urge toward a particular way of life or career; a vocation." Like ALL of us, it comes in many shapes, sizes and flavors.
Here are some examples of callings:
Advocate for justice
Create a warm home
Cultivate a positive outlook
Help / care for others
Make a difference
Save the environment
Leave the world in a better place
Have faith beyond oneself
Nurture and maintain close friendships
Live in the present
Do meaningful work
Granted, some of the examples are less career/vocational specific, these traits – if they were in fact callings – would though lead toward a more holistic outlook on one's career / vocation. Dare say a contented career. People who identify themselves by their calling as opposed to their JOB have a quiet confidence about themselves. Those who identify themselves by a job have a tendency to never be satisfied, always trying to fill a void.
Those who are called...
Everyone is called! The opportunity for us is to figure out ours! Some of the more famous "called":
Martha Stewart – a stockbroker. In her 30’s she and her husband bought and began restoration on an 1805 farmhouse...
Harrison Ford – a self taught carpenter in his 30’s - turned actor.
Julia Child – a copywriter, writing for local publications, and in advertising. At 36, attended the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris...
Andrea Bocelli – at the age of 30 he spent a year as an attorney. Left law and starting singing full time.
Joy Behar - a high school English teacher who didn't launch her show business career until after age 40. Known today as a former co-host on The View.
Vera Wang - first known as an accomplished figure skater and a fashion editor before deciding before her 1989 wedding, at age 40, that she wanted to be a designer.
Tim and Nina Zagat - husband and wife team had each turned 42 before they gave up their legal careers to write their first restaurant guides. Their eponymous company is part of Google now.
Robin Chase - had left her 40th birthday and career in the rearview mirror and was taking time off from work to be with her children when she and a friend, Antje Danielson, came up with the idea for the car-sharing company in 2000, Zipcar.
Rodney Dangerfield - 46 before he got his first big break--on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Duncan Hines - 55, he wrote his first food and hotel guides (including one that mentioned Sanders Court and Caf, the original restaurant owned by Harlan Sanders, above). At age 73, licensed the right to use his name to the company that developed Duncan Hines cake mixes; unfortunately he died six years later.
Charles Darwin - 50 years old before he published "On the Origin of the Species" in 1859.
Samuel Jackson - 46 years old (and in recovery from addiction to cocaine and heroin) before he starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.
Ray Kroc - a salesman who passed his 50th birthday before he bought the first McDonald's in 1961, which he ultimately expanded into a worldwide conglomerate.
Jack Weil - 45 when he founded what became the most popular cowboy-wear brand, Rockmount Ranch Wear.
Momofuku Ando - cemented his spot in junk food history when he invented instant ramen at age 48 in 1958.
Jack Cover - worked as a scientist for institutions like NASA and IBM before he became a successful entrepreneur at 50 for inventing the Taser gun.
Taikichiro Mori - academic who became a real estate investor at age 51 when he founded Mori Building Company. Became the richest man in the world in 1992, when he had a net worth of $13 billion.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses - better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 78. In 2006, one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million.
(Sources: Get Busy Living, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider)
Famous people aside, there are millions of non-famous people who have found their calling. We encounter them everyday. We can tell when we are in their presence. Perhaps we are the direct beneficiary of their calling. On the flip side, we can tell when someone is not. How do you want to be perceived?
Another not so subtle takeaway from above is folks don't seem to latch onto a calling until the SECOND QUARTER (or beyond) on their 80000 hour career journey...does that mean you should not expect learn what your calling is BEFORE you're 30? Not necessarily BUT...
Plug into one of the 1166 jobs tracked by the Federal Government and then plug in the characterics / aspirations and you'll be well ahead those who approach a job THEN a calling.
How to determine your calling?
As the diagram indicates, your calling ends up being the converged areas of passion, mission, vocation, and profession. A layer beyond those include the important aspects: you love it; the world needs it; you are paid for it; and are great at it! If you read my blog "Passion Is OK But It's Not All of It! Just Ask Tim Tebow..." you know I would agree with that sentiment.
Understanding each of us should expect to have an 80000 hour working career run, the sooner you can identify your calling, the longer your contented career run will be.
NAME! CLAIM! AIM!
For those on the quest to identify your calling, your opportunity will be to go through a similar exercise as the emerging generations should be going through as they make their way toward adulthood. What are my gifts? How do those gifts translate into a purpose, a calling?
NAME! Identify your gifts and put them to words (themes) that resonate and are core to you.
CLAIM! Appreciate the power and opportunities your dominant themes give you and help you accept responsibility for developing them.
AIM! Intentionally invest in the development of your gifts by identifying specific actions to "flex" your gifts to accomplish goals, reach desired outcomes, and better respond to situations that happen every day.
For details about this process, please read, http://www.whatareyourgifts.com/blog/name-claim-aim
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria