Michael Bastos

Differences between a Career and a Calling

Differences between a Career and a Calling

In the vast expanse of today’s workforce, there’s an intriguing dichotomy that influences how people perceive their jobs - is it a career or a calling? While both approaches have merit, the difference in mindset impacts an individual’s willingness to take risks, which can ultimately shape the trajectory of their professional lives.

At first glance, a career may appear to be the epitome of success - a well-trodden path toward stability, prestige, and financial security. Careerists, as they’re often called, tend to prioritize self-preservation, safeguarding their professional standing and seeking incremental progress. In this mindset, taking risks is seen as a potential threat to the carefully constructed edifice of one’s career.

On the other side of the spectrum are those who view their work as a calling. Fueled by passion and a sense of purpose, these individuals are more inclined to embrace risk as an integral part of their journey. They see their work as a mission, one that demands boldness and, at times, leaps of faith. In the eyes of the called, the stakes are higher, transcending the confines of a career and encompassing a broader vision of their contribution to the world.

The divergence in these perspectives becomes starkly evident when we examine the consequences of risk-taking. For those who see their work as a calling, risk can be a double-edged sword. While it may lead to extraordinary accomplishments, it can also result in significant setbacks, both on the battlefield of commerce and in the personal realm. Yet, for the called, the potential rewards often outweigh the risks, as they’re driven by an unwavering belief in their purpose.

This is not to discredit the merits of pursuing a career. In fact, countless individuals have achieved remarkable heights through a more cautious, risk-averse approach. However, the essence of the divide between a career and a calling lies in one’s willingness to challenge the status quo and push boundaries.

In reflecting on my own experiences, I can’t help but feel a profound appreciation for the risks I’ve taken. As a risk-taker in the public and private sector, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of having skin in the game. These experiences have led me to believe that, as a society, we should encourage our youth to be bold, to embrace uncertainty, and to chase their passions with fearless determination.

Ultimately, the choice between a career and a calling is a deeply personal one, influenced by an individual’s values, priorities, aspirations and stress tolerance. Regardless of the path you choose, it’s essential to remain open to the lessons offered by both perspectives. By understanding and embracing the value of risk-taking, you can cultivate a more vibrant professional landscape, one in which both the careerists and the called can thrive.

Differences between a Career and a Calling
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