Job, Calling, Career

Michael Lewis, in an article Ben first linked to and commented on, draws an admittedly artificial but, I think, helpful distinction between a job and a calling:

A job will never satisfy you all by itself, but it will afford you security and the chance to pursue an exciting and fulfilling life outside of your work. A calling is an activity you find so compelling that you wind up organizing your entire self around it — often to the detriment of your life outside of it.  There’s no shame in either. Each has costs and benefits.

While I think there’s a spectrum between a job and a calling as defined here, this strikes me as generally right.  But there’s a third piece here that Lewis doesn’t get into.  I’ll call it a career, for lack of a better term (I’m afraid using that word will muddy what I’m trying to say, but I trust you’ll take my point).  If a job is something unsatisfying that provides security and time, and a calling is something internally compelled and all-consuming, then a career is the unfortunate amalgamation of the two, taking only the troublesome aspects of both: something unsatisfying but all-consuming, leaving no time to pursue anything potentially worthwhile. 

Careers don’t offer anything but money.  And in exchange they take everything (NDJL).  So if you’re looking for more than a paycheck, fear the career, dear reader.



Filed under Career

2 responses to “Job, Calling, Career

  1. Pingback: The Cruelty of Having It All « Lawyering Mike

  2. Pingback: The Cruelty of Having It All « Lawyering Mike

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