The Difference Between A Job, A Career, & A Calling

by Evelyn Pelczar

“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.” – John Lennon

Whether it was through a teacher, a parent or your friends, society, in some way, has emphasized financial success over happiness. There's an imposed system that encourages you to take the easy route and follow the other sheep into jobs and careers that don't interest you.

It's about the paycheck, and how it can support your life outside of your job. Work is a necessary chore, but life is too short to be stuck in a job or career that you hate. Thankfully, I've got some good news: it's not too late. But it's time to shape up. The first step is understanding where you're at and where you want to be, then you can formulate a plan.

You can find a balance between paying for life and partaking in happiness. I'm here to help. To take that crucial first step, to understand where you are in life, we should first define the difference between a job, a career and your calling.

A job allows for a set amount of pay for a specific amount of time. Jobs are the easiest to find; they are the least stressful and they  provide an adequate allowance of extracurricular time to discover your passion.

There are detriments, the pay barely covers living expenses and the next applicant to come along can easily replace you. In our current job market you have plenty of middle-aged, recently laid-off executives that will expertly snatch that burger flipper from your hand.

A career is a long term and consistent job. The fantastic construct of "upward mobility" allows for promotions and raises. Ideally, your career is one that you choose. The 1940s ideal of a coveted gold watch and pension plan at the end of this 20-30 year commitment has, unfortunately, been replaced with outsourcing and downsizing.

"You gave us your time, now we give you ours" has been roughly translated to "You gave us your time, but China is cheaper". The recession has been over for almost four years and corporations still aren't hiring. But don't fret, this is only more reason to start cultivating your calling.

Your Calling is your passion project, something you genuinely care about and of which you will never grow tired. When you are consumed with your calling, time and money do not apply. So the many hours that you “work” on creating money to pay for your lifestyle will not suck. Because this is your happiness.

But you need to start now. Make a list of things that you love: writing, photography, art, music, helping people, partying. Whatever it is there are other people who love it too. Find those groups online and join them, find out how they are making money -- and get involved.

Whatever you do...don't, unless it makes you happy.

Ryan Cummings | Elite.