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Pursue Your Calling, Not a Job

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

To put it mildly, who in their right mind would want to work for the rest of their life? Sure, money is quite nice to have in your pocket, but you can be well-off without actually having to work.

Upon completing my first year of university, I have begun to identify an issue surrounding students: their perception of the workforce. There is this atmosphere of pressure to conform to a career pathway that society deems to be a “successful” occupation.

I often catch myself hearing,  “I want to be an accountant,” “I want to be a stockbroker.” A starting salary of approximately $60,000 coupled with an admirable reputation would be an incredibly high incentive to pursue these sorts of careers.  Not to say these are not notable professions (because the world needs this talent), but for many people, including myself, would find that these jobs don’t give them true meaning.

Fortunately, I came to terms with myself early in my degree. I realized that if I streamed into these specializations, I would spend around  ⅔ of my life feeling unhappy. I would wake up every Monday morning dreading the 40 hour work week to come, wasting precious hours of my life. I believe that realizing this now has saved me many invaluable moments that I can now live happily.

But how do you allow yourself to embrace this internal honesty?

It’s time to change the frame. Replace the word “job” with “calling.”

When I hear the word “job” I immediately think “burdened work.” There is no passion or ambition held within the word “job.” The word, “calling” however, is viewed as an “intrinsic duty.” “Intrinsic” meaning that the career withholds qualities that are natural and meaningful to you. And “duty,” which connotes your moral purpose. This internal obligation aligns with your values, driving you to invest fully in your occupation.

Do you want to be happy? Do you want to change the world? You can only be truly happy and leave a positive impact by doing what you believe is meaningful. The innovators and contributors of our world stem from chasing their dreams. They delved into the path of self-fulfillment by disregarding criticism and doubts, and focused their ambitions on what gave them drive. Ironically, they have become the leaders of our world, all because they chose to do what they wanted to do. This proves that if you don’t truly love what you do, you aren’t optimizing your potential to leave the world with a positive impact.

It’s time to be honest with yourself. You’re the only one that can set the constraints of pursuing what your heart tells you to.

Change the frame. Pursue your calling, not a job.

Hailey Rodgers is from a small town called Westport, Ontario and is in her third year of Commerce at Queen's University. She loves to travel, meet new people, and learn. Hailey's passion for adventure and sharing her experiences is illustrated in her writing.