There is a downside to being really invested in your work. If you view your job as your calling, you’re more likely to leave your profession when things don’t work out quite as well as you’d hoped, according to a study spotted by Quartz.
The study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, is based on four years of interviews with 50 workers at U.S. animal shelters, which the researchers (from the University of British Columbia and the University of Oxford) split into three categories: people who had left shelter work but still worked with animals in some capacity, people who left the shelter and animal-related work in general, and people who were still working in shelters. Many of these workers independently referred to their job as a “calling,” while others described it in ways that the researchers found met the scholarly definition of the concept—being passionate about your work, enjoying it, and feeling a sense of moral obligation or duty to make a difference.
However, while they all viewed their work as a calling in some way, they didn’t all share the same view of what that meant, and they responded very differently to challenges at work depending on those views. “Identity-oriented” workers, who saw themselves as huge animal lovers and described their work as very personal to them, focused on “the continuous preservation of a sense of their special gifts in relation to animals,” according to the researchers; when faced with major challenges in the field, these workers ended up leaving their jobs at the shelter to work with animals in some other capacity,…
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