Callings in career: A typological approach to essential and optional components

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A sense of calling in career is supposed to have positive implications for individuals and organizations but current theoretical development is plagued with incongruent conceptualizations of what does or does not constitute a calling. The present study used cluster analysis to identify essential and optional components of a presence of calling among 407 German undergraduate students from different majors. Three types of calling merged: "negative career self-centered", "pro-social religious", and "positive varied work orientation". All types could be described as vocational identity achieved (high commitment/high self-exploration), high in career confidence and career engagement. Not defining characteristics were centrality of work or religion, endorsement of specific work values, or positivity of core self-evaluations. The results suggest that callings entail intense self-exploration and might be beneficial because they correspond with identity achievement and promote career confidence and engagement while not necessarily having pro-social orientations. Suggestions for future research, theory and practice are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 08.2011