A job, a career or your calling?

I’m still on the topic of purpose/passion.  I received so much feedback regarding the topic that I thought I’d share this one with you as well and see what you think.  I was recently confronted with the following question, “Do you consider what you do a job, a career or your calling (purpose)?

 I had to think about this one.  My first thought was, “aren’t they the same thing?”  After hearing a story about 3 men that laid bricks and were asked “what are you doing”; though they were all doing the same thing, their answers were different.  I don’t quite remember the exact words of their responses, but one answered it was his job, “I’m just laying bricks”, the second one said it was his career, “this is what I’m trained to do, laying bricks”, but the third one said “can’t you see, I’m building a beautiful temple”. Notice how the first two, simply answered regarding the task at hand, while the third spoke about the end result; to him it was more than the laying of bricks, he was passionate about it; he was already seeing the final outcome.  He might not be the one to build it in it’s entirety but his part was part of the whole picture.

I still had second thoughts about the analogy at least where job and career was concerned, so I decided to look them up.  Job is defined as a specific task done as part of a routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price, it also said anything a person is expected or obligated to do.  Career is defined as an occupation or profession, one requiring special training.  Calling relates to purpose which is defined as the reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used, etc.  It started coming together and when I went to the visual thesaurus of each word it broke it down even better: job is a responsibility to do something, career is occupation for which you are trained and calling is what you do out of passion/purpose with it comes determination so that you won’t quit when things get tough or don’t go as planned. 

 I get it now and realize even more so the importance of knowing your purpose so that you don’t work aimlessly, but make every step we take and everything we do count. When I worked as a bookkeeper it was a job, it gave me a check every week; even though I did like it (I love numbers) but it was just that, a job.  Then I worked in Corporate America where I thought I’d develop my career and I upheld different positions but again nothing that really gave me a sense of purpose, a drive, or that lined up with my passion and purpose.   Don’t get me wrong, I also loved and enjoyed the years I was in this corporate world for I learned a lot and I was able to develop different skills and abilities and become the business woman I am today; however having a clear understanding of what really drives me and what my passion is as well of what my gifts are, I can conclude that it wasn’t going to produce the sense of satisfaction I feel now as an entrepreneur. 

 If I had to choose a career at this stage and season in my life, I’d rather it be in something that would give me the ability to reach out to women, share my story and empower them, such as my shoe boutique Big and Elegant which allows me the platform to reach out to women and make a difference in their lives.  What about you, do you consider what you do a job, a career or your calling?

 Amy “Your Shoe Lady”


  1. Amy,
    You have created a post that everyone should read. Based on your belief, one is given this life that requires you to explore this topic at least once. When studying individuals who have lived a dream at their crossroads have asked themselves this question. Those who are confused either allow the opportunity to pass them by or lack the courage to do a self analysis. This is a question that is further emphasized in Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life. Thank you for creating a dialogue of thought by examining the three life choices that we have all been given. Keep up the discussion of passion!

    • Thank you Stephanie for taking the time to read and comment on the posts. I love to share my thoughts and most importantly to see the effect the questions I bring have on people and their responses. It has definitely opened up some dialogue amongst the people that have read the post. Thanks again and much success to you.

      Amy “Your Shoe Lady”

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  • "I decided to open a shoe store for women with big and/or wide feet where they could shop with pleasure, would not have to sacrifice fashion for comfort and walk out with their head held high."