Jobs Careers and Callings

In: Business and Management

Submitted By aniruddha8441
Words 5867
Pages 24

31, 21–33 (1997)


Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work
Amy Wrzesniewski
University of Michigan

Clark McCauley
Bryn Mawr College

Paul Rozin
University of Pennsylvania

Barry Schwartz
Swarthmore College
We present evidence suggesting that most people see their work as either a Job
(focus on financial rewards and necessity rather than pleasure or fulfillment; not a major positive part of life), a Career (focus on advancement), or a Calling (focus on enjoyment of fulfilling, socially useful work). Employees at two work sites (n ϭ 196) with a wide range of occupations from clerical to professional were unambiguous in seeing their work primarily in terms of a Job, Career, or Calling. Differences in respondents’ relations to their work could not be reduced to demographic or occupational differences; an homogenous subset of 24 college administrative assistants were, like the total sample of respondents, distributed evenly across Job,
Career, and Calling. © 1997 Academic Press

Work constitutes more than one-third of waking life for most human adults, and there is a substantial psychological literature devoted to the study of work. Satisfaction with work varies widely across individuals (Staw &
Ross, 1985) and seems to constitute a substantial part of the subjective qualThis research was supported by funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation Network on Health-Related Behaviors. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Amy Wrzesniewski, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 525 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1109. E-mail:
0092-6566/97 $25.00
Copyright © 1997 by Academic Press
All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.



ity of life (Loscocco & Roschelle, 1991). In a measure of general…...

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