Are you working for cash, a career, a cause—or a calling? "Why do you do what you do?"
People work for a variety of reasons. For many, the primary purpose of their work is cash. Their principal motivation is the paycheck that funds their everyday needs. Their work is a means to an end. Others are motivated by ambitions for a career, to move up the professional ladder and expand their experience, becoming more skilled in a particular area. Still others work for a cause, believing in the wider purpose of their work, attempting to make a difference in the world—to leave a mark in some way.
All of these are legitimate motivations. However, missing from all three is any sense of the value of work itself. The focus is on the output of the workplace, rather than valuing the input.
What we need is calling. Those who see their work as a calling experience a rich integration in their lives. They sense a purpose, a direction to their activities. Work has intrinsic meaning, rather than being simply a means to an end. In many ways this is precisely what the Spirit of God does in our lives. When we are in the flow of the Spirit, we are cooperating fully in our God-given callings. When people embrace their callings, they love their work, can manage inevitable tensions that arise, and are welcomed by their colleagues, who sense that there is something beyond the cash or career objectives. But how do we get there?