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Thinking of Your Job As a Calling Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Thinking of Your Job As a Calling Isn’t Always a Good Thing
By Cari Romm
Published: April 18, 2017

Having a job that you find meaningful seems like an unqualified good: If you’re going to spend such a significant chunk of your waking hours doing whatever it is you do, you probably want to feel like those hours count for something — like your work has a purpose, and you’re not just slaving away on tasks that don’t really matter.

And that is a good thing — but only up to a point. According to a study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal and highlighted by Oliver Staley at Quartz, finding too much meaning in your work can leave you exhausted and burnt out. The danger in thinking of your job as more of a calling — which the authors defined as “a meaningful beckoning toward activities that are morally, socially, and personally significant, involving work that is an end in itself”— is that your passion for the work can, paradoxically, push you to leave it.

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