“My career is what I’m paid for. My calling is what I’m made for”
I heard the great quote from Steve Harvey just the other day. The truth of this just stopped me dead in my tracks. I know for years, I intermingled my career and my calling, like strands of hair I was always trying to weave together. Not an altogether abnormal thing, but it wasn’t until very recently in my life did I take the time to separate out the two things: career and calling. It was in fact this separation that lead me to coaching.
But what is the difference, really? Your job is what you DO. Your calling is who you ARE. For those of us with a career and not just say, a “job” we tend to pride ourselves in the fact that we’re getting paid for work we love to do (OK mostly love to do). We’re ambitious, eager, hard-working. We tend to keep our heads down and just get to the business at hand. However, as I look back over my own career, the thing that can tend to happen is that we can get so distracted with the “other” things that comes with our work. The logistics, management of people, emails, office politics, that slowly, almost like a pinhole in a balloon, the air can seep out, leaving us feeling drained and overworked. Wondering why and how we got off the path.
This however is why I realized it is critically important to know what your calling is. How do you do that? Take time to sit with yourself and really ASK these questions.
What part of your work best represents the essence of you? What is that thing that if you had all the money in the world, would still get you out of bed in the morning? What, when you do it, makes your spirit sing? What puts you in “the zone”?
Even if your current work has strayed from this, it’s an incredibly useful exercise to identify this for you as an individual. This is your True North. When my last job ended, I had to force myself to stop and dig deep to look for this answer. I was surprised that it took me longer than I expected to actually do. I had to let the questions steep, then even journal and meditate before I could blast away all of the hard rock from the gem. We put so many layers. “to-do’s” and fillers on our work, then seal it with a “title”, that so often that we bury the core of what we love so deep that it’s hard to distill.
For me, I finally allowed myself to realize that despite all of my titles (executive, producer, executive director), the core of what I loved doing with filmmakers (and people in general) was creating that space for them to believe in themselves. My passion is unleashing authentic story into this world. To do this though, I had to first realize that my story was just as important. Most of us have some version of this realization to come to. Part of what took me so long to get to the core of my calling was that I never allowed myself to accept how important I was in the process. I would always downplay and brush over the work I did as good, but not incredibly valuable. I know however know and see the true value of the work I do with both clients and filmmakers.
Getting to the core of what I loved allowed me to take that leap of faith to actually get more training and become a coach and of course I’m so glad I did. It’s helped me evolve my career in a new and unexpected way, and it gave me permission to put my calling first, then interweave my career into the equation, in a way that was organic and that kept the fire of my calling still lit. All while staying true to both aspects of myself.
There’s always a lot of talk about purpose and path, so much so that in the perceived “hokeyness” of it all, we can forget the importance of that beacon or guide to help us along the way. I believe the details of how we live our calling can change and evolve in fun and unique ways, but we must first identify what our calling is. Once you have the core, you can never stray off of your path again, because you’ll finally know where you’re headed.
Enjoy the journey!
To your visionary legacy,