For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People's Relations to Their Work"

by Wrzesniewski, Amy; McCauley, Clark; Rozin, Paul; Schwartz, Barry (1997)


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= 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.


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