Analysis of Vocation and Calling

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A Vocation: Serving Others with a Free Will

A vocation, also known as a calling, is a responsibility synonymous with serving others out of one's own free will. This is distinct from general jobs that people perform in the expectation of a monetary reward at the end. Based on their willpower, a person may be correlated with a variety of calls. People want to serve God in their lives based on a Christian or theological perspective. In the Bible, Jesus commands his followers to serve him, and not all of those chosen are willing to do so. In today's world, we have the priesthood, Imams, Bishops, and others who serve in ministries to spread the word of redemption to humanity. Such acts can be described as vocation (Dik, Duffy, 2009).

The Difference Between Vocation and Work

The difference between vocation and work is based on what makes you different. Vocation is meant to bring personal satisfaction in doing well for people. A secular definition of vocation that we hear on a daily basis is a career. A career is a path a person chooses to follow. This makes it more of a choice that one can decide to do or not. In all circumstances, vocation is never abandoned thus making it a calling. The main difference between a career and a calling is the expected gain. People choose careers because they feel they can be good at them and gain from the profession.

Positive Correlation Between Career and Calling

My study will focus on how viable I am to doing vocation work based on a study questionnaire. Previous studies on the relationship between career and calling among college students show that the two are positively correlated. The choice of a certain career is almost dependent on the calling of the individual. This is determined by how they view the world in general. It is true to say that those that tend to respond more to their calling are likely to perform better in their careers. A calling will also lead to more satisfaction in people’s lives hence peaceful living.

Factors Influencing Vocational Calling

The study focuses on several factors that determine how close to a calling one can be. Religious individuals were found to be more relevant in the aspect of searching for their calling as well as following one, unlike those who are passively religious. Race/ethnicity, sex of participants, and year in college were used as factors to consider when viewing the relevance of a vocational calling. The questionnaire used a Career Decision Self-Efficacy scale (CDSE-SF) to determine the career confidence levels. The higher the scores recorded, the higher the career self-efficacy decision levels.

Analyzing the Findings

Based on the results, the measures and scores were analyzed to round off errors and calculate the deviations. All factors were considered with those that had the calling being given the highest rank in the factors. The Calling and Vocation Questionnaire method was used to establish those who were not aware of a calling or a career difference. Based on sex, ethnicity, religious views, and years in college, the results were then analyzed and tabulated for interpretation. In relation to the models used to fit the data, smaller fits produced better results indicating that the best four sub-scales to be used in determining whether one was guided by a calling were Presence-Transcendent Summons, Presence-Purposeful Work and Presence-Prosocial Orientation and Search-Transcendent Summons, Search-Purposeful Work, Search-Prosocial Orientation that indicated a search for the calling.

Gender Differences and Ethnicity Irrelevance

The findings indicated that the turn out for women was higher than that of men. From the analysis, it was concluded that women are more inclined to a calling than a career. Men, however, care so much about their career as it gives them the pride and ego of a man. Ethnic backgrounds did not produce significant differences in the search or presence of calling thus no major conclusion can be made from that. Year of college did not record significant deviation either. This can be ruled out by the fact that most college-going individuals are mature enough to know their needs in either career or vocational training.

Determining Calling and Career through Scales

The BSC scale that measures the presence or search of a calling indicated that the two are correlated. Those in search of a calling are likely to discover it through career strategies and talks that guide them on their future career choices. This brings the search to a closer view as those that already feel the presence of the calling. The Wrzesniewski calling paragraph (Wrzesniewski, 2003) is used to determine how much a character can best define the reality of a person based on their actions. This rated the extent at which the person was related to a calling or a career.

The work hope theory was a scale used to determine the extent of work hope in diverse populations. This hope can be based on the people’s hope in a certain vocation or profession. The meaning in life questionnaire was also used to determine how much meaning people found in whatever they were involved in. The higher the score in the MLQ, the higher the presence of a calling. With all factors considered, a gauge on my own volatility of whether I am career or vocational oriented was also analyzed from the scales used. The CVQ also provided all the individuals with a way of examining their flexibility level of their calling at a given level.

Societal Influences on Career and Calling

On a daily basis, students are often faced with the challenge of whether to choose a career path or follow their calling. There are factors that can be attributed to the dilemma faced in such situations such as the need to make their parents proud, fear of being ridiculed, peer pressure as well as societal views on some career paths. Besides the factors that the scales used to determine the search, presence, or absence of a calling, society has some say in what path many students take.

Personal Reflection: More Inclined to Career

From the Calling Vocation Questionnaire, most of my scores lie in the gap of Search – Purposeful work. This means that I may not have discovered my calling but my career aims to benefit the society with the hope of finding meaning in what I am required to do. I may not believe to have been called to do so, but as long as I find some purpose in doing it, then I will pursue the career. Being a male student, I feel more inclined to career and professionalism rather than vocation. My career aspiration and the need to succeed are the drive that makes me strive for success rather than satisfaction.

Summary: In Search of Calling and Purpose

In addition to the above, the Brief Calling Scale classifies me as one that is in search of their calling or purpose in line with the career path. This then summarizes the fact that I belong less to vocation and more to career. I can safely conclude that my capability of doing vocational work to the fullest is minimized by the fact that I still have not found my calling. Human services require a dedicated human called to serve rather than own personal gains. The best imitation of people working to serve are those that preach, teach or heal since their work is more involving than what they get based on their career. It is important to consider a career that goes hand in hand with a calling for personal gain and satisfaction.


Wrzesniewski, A. (2003). Finding positive meaning in work. Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline, 296-308.

Dik, B. J., & Duffy, R. D. (2009). Calling and vocation at work: Definitions and prospects for research and practice. The Counseling Psychologist, 37(3), 424-450.

November 03, 2022



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