Is Your Work a Job, Career or Calling?

On Tuesday, a CIBC bank teller launched a $600 million class-action lawsuit against her employer. The issue: unpaid overtime.

This has generated news stories in almost every part of newsmaking – frontpage news; career sections, business and life. Everyone is talking about it and lawyers and consultants are saying this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My days of ‘clock-punching’ were mainly when I worked part-time in my teen and early adult years. I worked at McDonalds, Sports Expert – and other places — and used the $ to fund my education. Back then my work was just a “job”. I got paid for the time I put in. Later, when my work was more of a career (vs. just a job) I thought of my time spent as a chance to grow, learn and contribute. I felt good about my work (most times). It was a place for me to self actualize. I routinely worked ‘overtime’ but it didn’t feel like that. It was simply what you did to grow yourself and do the job well.

These days, my work is both a mix of ‘career’ and sometimes feels a bit like of a “calling” too. It’s intrinsically connected to who I am (my core values, strengths, etc.). I feel authentic in my work and passionate about (most of) it. Still, I get paid for my work and in many cases it’s based on an hourly rate. Would my clients expect me to give away my time for free? Not really. That said, I often put in extra hours because sometimes it’s what I need to do. I’m engaged…and care deeply about the quality of my work and my relationships with my clients.

How about You? What does your work mean to you and how to you consider your ‘time spent’ in it? Here are some questions for folks out there reflecting on this issue of ‘unpaid overtime’:

  1. Is your work a job, career or calling?
  2. Where does it fit within the context of your life? Simply a way to earn $ — or is it a path to work-life fulfillment and a means of expressing your gifts/talents in the world?
  3. How important is contribution to you and does your work allow you to honour that value or impede it?
  4. Where are the boundaries in terms of how much ‘overtime’ is okay and how much is not?

 There’s no judgment at all to how you answered these questions. Simply notice that work means different things to different people. I respect that. But when it comes to ‘overtime’ I think your responses to these and other related questions might shed some meaningful light with respect to how you feel about your time at work.

 I’ll leave it at that for now as you as you consider what this means in the context of your TGIM worklife. As always – would love to hear from you.

To a TGIM worklife!


One Response to “Is Your Work a Job, Career or Calling?”

  1. Alice Says:

    My actual work that I have now is a job but I just wanted to be a career that sounds as a calling. In my company that I work for is in restructure period and first when I was graduated I looking for a career but I found a calling job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: