There is a sense of calling in each person’s life; a sense that there is something for each individual to do which is tailored to his or her own unique passions, talents, abilities, and sense of purpose. This calling often drives people to choose a profession, to go to college, and to pursue a career path; the very fact of its existence can change the course of an individual’s life.
Which leads to the important question: how does one find their calling? For a Christian, this question can go even deeper. How does one know what God has called them to do? The uncomfortable ambiguity of these questions can be a major source of anxiety in many people’s pursuit of a vocation or career.
How to pursue your calling
There are no formulaic or universal steps to finding your calling and discovering what the Lord wants you to do with your life. However, God tends to direct us best when we are in motion; it does very little good to be passive in pursuit of a calling. So what does actively pursuing your calling look like?
First of all, there is value in assessing yourself and your existing talents, passions, and personality traits. From a Christian perspective, the Lord didn’t make you the way you are out of random happenstance. While the Lord’s calling on your life is not limited to these things, and while not all your talents will always apply to your calling, the Lord may choose to develop your gifts and passions in such a way as to equip you for what you are called to do. There are many valuable professional assessments, such as Career Key, that are listed on Crown’s Choosing a Major tool, which can guide you toward career paths suited to your interests, skills, and personality.
Another very important way to be active in waiting for God’s guidance is to try different options. Internships are a wonderful way to do this! Not only will internships better equip you if you do decide to continue in the field, but they will also give you an authentic taste of what it would be like to be a professional in the industry. Job shadows and informational interviews are also very beneficial in getting an idea of what your future career would look like.
Peace in your calling through Christ.
Ultimately though, it’s important to remember that – when trying to pursue your calling – there is peace in the Lord. Our first calling and our purpose in life are to love the Lord and be in relationship with Him, and to encourage others to do the same. Our vocational calling is a tool to accomplish this higher calling; however, our vocational callings are not the exclusive means of accomplishing this goal. If we are serving the Lord where we are at, and following Him where He is leading us, there is freedom in our pursuit of vocational calling.
Haley Jones in an intern in the Office of Career Services. She is a Communication major graduating in 2016.