The parable of the bricklayer goes something like this: Three bricklayers are asked, “What are you doing?”. The first says, “I am laying bricks.” The second says, “I am building a church.” And the third says, “I am building the house of God.”
The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling.
Angela Duckwork explores the lessons in this parable in her seminal book, “Grit.” She references Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski’s research behind what makes work a calling. As it turns out, having a calling is less about the actual work and more about the belief that the work connects you to something greater than the self.
After years of studying the research on what makes work a calling, Amy says, “A calling isn’t some fully formed thing that you find. Whatever you do – whether you are a janitor or the CEO – you can continually look at what you do and ask how it connects to other people, how it connects to the bigger picture, how it can be an expression of your deepest values.”
How we see our work is more important than job title. Purpose or calling is available to us today if we are willing to find dots, we can connect between our job and our bigger picture.
How beautiful is it to know that a calling is something we have the power to cultivate and not something we have to search for endlessly?
In this post (https://fulfillingstrategy.com/create-daily-purpose-at-work-even-if-your-job-stinks), I share some ideas on how you might find purpose in your daily work.
Leadership Opportunity: While purpose and calling are very personal, as a leader, you can use some of the ideas from the post to help walk your teammates through the connection between their work and what they ultimately consider their purpose or calling to be. If they can make even the slightest connection, it’s a huge win for them, for you, and the organization.