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What If I Don’t Feel Called to My Job? 

When people talk to me about their jobs, they usually have two point of frustration they want to ask me about: 

  • They don’t feel called to their current job.
  • They don’t feel passionate about their current job. 

I’ll go after the issue of passion in the next blog. Here I want to dig deeper into this issue of calling. 

When I was growing up, I never really heard people talking about the importance of finding your calling. What I heard about was the importance of hard work

My grandparents were Jewish immigrants who escaped to the US during World War II. They both worked long hours running a small grocery store to support their family. My father worked long days and weekends until his retirement as a teacher and athletic coach. When I left college to start my painting business, I knew the only way I was going to be successful was to outwork the competition, so that’s what I did. 

The question of whether I was “called” to painting, or even had a calling on my life, only came up after I had been a Christian for a few years. By this point I was married and working hard to grow my business. My initial reaction to the idea of calling was to disregard it. Wasn’t a “calling” something God gave to certain special people like Moses, David, Jeremiah, Peter, or Mother Teresa––people who were set apart for a life of significant “spiritual” work? 

I was just a painter. Who’s called to be a painter? 

At the same time, however, I had a deep core belief that working hard to serve my customers, pay my employees, scale my business, support my wife and children, and partner financially with churches and ministries was inherently good and honoring to God. 

And over time I grew to understand more deeply what I knew subconsciously, which was that my work and my life had a spiritual purpose––one that was both unique to my gifts, abilities, desires, resources, and opportunities, and that was universal to all human beings created by God. 

I’ll never forget the day I was reading Genesis 2 and it hit me that humanity’s original God-given purpose was simply to work and care for the world: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15 NIV). This was later stated in the Ten Commandments: “Six days shall you labor and do all your work” (Exodus 20:9). 

This means every one of us is created to work and contribute to the world, and that doing this well unto the Lord is essential to fulfilling our spiritual purpose. The details may look different for each one of us, but at its core, this is our calling as humans. 

So what should you do if you don’t “feel called” to your particular job at this particular moment? 

Well, after talking to a lot of people about how they discovered their calling in work and life, I have become convinced that most people are like me. Not many people get a vision of heaven opening or a burning bush with God’s voice audibly calling them. Calling is something we discover as it unfolds over the course of our lives, and it encompasses many jobs and seasons of learning and growth. 

What I found out after decades of painting was that God had actually called me into the transformation business. Early in my career I loved transforming projects, but the real call was transforming people and their lives through the business. Funny how He works! 

This seems to be the case with most of the great heroes of faith as well, both in Scripture and in history. God brings people into their calling through a process that can take years and even decades, and involves many jobs that don’t necessarily look very “spiritual,” but are. Moses was a shepherd for 40 years before he encountered the burning bush. Joseph was a slave and a prisoner for about 13 years before becoming the number-two in command of Egypt. David was a shepherd, soldier, and fugitive warlord for about 17 years before taking the throne. 

So instead of focusing on whether you feel called to your current job, I want to challenge you to ask a different question: 


What is the purpose and assignment God has for me at this job? 

Whether you are supposed to work there for one week or one year, I believe that every job you get is an opportunity to serve God by working hard with excellence, discovering, growing, and using the gifts and abilities He’s given you, and gaining critical wisdom and experience that will prepare you for your next assignment. 

I also believe that as long as you are courageously following Him wherever He leads you, you cannot miss the open doors He will lead you to at the right time for your next assignment. Ultimately, the only way we can miss out on our calling is by rejecting Him and refusing to follow His lead. 

So lean in to where God has you right now, and ask Him to speak to you about what He wants you to do and who He wants you to be at your job, and in this season of your life. 


Live with purpose,




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