Career Counseling: work – passion or duty

Americans have come to expect work to be a source of meaning in their lives, a job is now a career or a calling. Young people prioritize achieving one’s career passion higher than making money or getting married and consider finding a fulfilling job almost three times more important than having a family.

Unfortunately, most people are guaranteed to fail in this pursuit. Even people who love their jobs will report they must do thankless tasks from time to time. Few experience nonstop bliss, where sheer passion sustains them through long hours on the job. Our high-octane work culture has serious consequences, with Americans overall today engaging in fewer extracurricular social activities than in previous generations.

Consider rejecting the notion that work should consume our lives, define and give meaning to them, and see it instead as an opportunity to fulfill something larger, namely our duty, which can eventually lead to fulfillment. Duty is rooted in self understanding. Frankly assess what you can do, how you are best equipped to serve, and work. Hearing from early childhood that you can be anything you want can be oppressive. Identify the several jobs or roles you are called to do — inside and outside the home — and do them well.