The differences between a job, a career and a calling
Before we go over the reasons, lets first establish the difference between a career, a job, and a calling. For the sake of this article, let’s go with the simplest of definitions:
- A job is a paid activity primarily to pay your bills. A job serves the purpose of paying for your livelihood and maintaining your lifestyle. It doesn’t include passion or skills that you necessarily want to work on.
- A career is a specific skill set that you practice. Over time that practice gives you some competitive advantage in the marketplace. Not only does a career pays the bills but also improves your skill set over time.
- A calling is meaningful pursuit with no reward. It is something you are intrinsically motivated to do. Plus, it often doesn’t have much of a focus on an external reward.
Sometimes a job, career, and calling can be all in one position! For example, my job is to order lunch, my career is to give presentations and my calling is to encourage growth and development. For me, this is all under one position.
So now, why does almost everyone need a career coach? Here are the three reasons everyone needs a career coach, regardless if you are in a place of job hunting, career exploration or pursuing your calling.
Many times there are a lot of conflicting messages that come with a career change. Your family is concerned in one way, your friends see potential, and your boss has his/her own motivations. So, a career coach is an objective third party for you to be able to talk about the conflicting messages to find order. This is essential so the noise doesn’t get in the way of your ultimate direction.
Job: when searching for a job a career coach can offer the support and motivation when you want to quit. Perhaps give you methods and tips to continue the job search and overcome obstacles.
Career: when searching for a new or different career, a coach can give you objective support and talk about all options without putting anyone on the offensive. A safe place to brainstorm and uncover what you want.
Calling: when searching for a calling, a career coach is essential to support you in keeping you grounded, realistic and motivated. Callings can potentially cause fear because it’s so close to your heart.
Knowledge of market materials and strategy
This just means getting feedback on how you are being perceived by the market. This works in the opposite direction as the first point. Just as you are receiving conflicting messages from friends and close family members, you need a clear voice from a professional, separate from the noise.
Job: when searching for a job a career coach can help review resumes, interviewing skills, and overall strategy.
Career: when searching for a career a career coach can help identify what kind of education you may need, review market trends, review resumes targeting specific industries, and work on your networking plan.
Calling: when searching for a calling a career coach can help you uncover the knowledge or conflicted knowledge driving your own motivations. When dealing with a calling many times your inner critic stands in the way of making progress. Which leads to the third reason…
One of my favorite parts of the Wolfgang methodology is identifying your inner critic. That is, those parts of you that stand in the way of your job potential and all of your potential! It may seem like a lot of other things hold you back, but really we can be our own worst enemy. Sorry to break your bubble on this one, no one can break free from themselves alone. We must get out of our own delusions and that requires help. So, a career coach can help identify those areas that are hard for you to see yet hold you back.
Job: many job seekers think they are doing all the right things but just need help from a career coach to point out when that isn’t the case and what changes can help.
Career: when you are questioning potential careers a coach can help you look for false beliefs or unrealistic expectations.
Calling: denying your calling impacts not only your career but also your life. A career coach can help you address all the “no’s” and figure out ways to say “yes”!
No matter which category you find yourself in – job, career, or calling – we all need a form of support, strategy and help keeping your inner critic at bay. Often times, help in all 3 areas is needed. You are not alone in this because, yes, even career coaches need career coaching!