Skip to content

What does work mean to you?

Daniel Marzullo
Daniel Marzullo
2 min read
What does work mean to you?
Photo by Sasha Freemind / Unsplash

A reader recently asked, "Is it weird I only view work as an exchange of time for money?"

It's easy to assume that he may not be doing work that allows him to use his strengths and feel energized every day. Or that if he understood his values more clearly, he'd know what he was working for.

Regardless of opinions, many people simply have different perspectives on work based on how they were raised, false assumptions, or other environmental factors.

Most people see work from one of three viewpoints. Work is either:

a) a job

b) a career

c) a calling

Neither orientation is right or wrong.

People with a Job Orientation typically view their work as my reader described above. It's a way to pay the bills, support hobbies, and live life outside of work.

People with a Career Orientation view work as something they do for themself. It's a way to advance, impress, or strive for that next promotion. These folks enjoy setting goals to advance their careers and see them as an exciting "ladder" to climb.

People with a Calling Orientation view work as part of their identity. In addition to the paycheck, it brings them joy, meaning, and purpose. They are often working in support of a more significant cause or desired impact. They want to make a specific contribution to the world through their work.

There's no right or wrong way to view your work. However, people who view their work as a calling tend to be more satisfied with their personal and professional lives. 

Although you might identify with one of these right now, your work orientation can change throughout your career.

For example, you might currently view your work as a job. But in the future, you might take a new role, start a new business, or dive into a different industry that opens you up to something else you're passionate about and shifts your orientation toward work.

If you're not feeling excited or fulfilled by your work, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Which of these orientations describes how you currently view your work?
  • Which of the three orientations would you prefer to have?
  • What would need to change to shift your viewpoint?
  • What small steps can you take to make it happen?

Need help figuring it out? Reply to this email, and I’ll help you get started.

Your coach,

Dan Marzullo

P.S. By the way... whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

Work with me 1:1 - Need help getting unstuck? Get coaching when you need it without having to book a slot on your calendar. 

Looking for a writer for your business, publication or project? Let’s chat to see how we can put your ideas on paper.

Feeling burnt out or struggling with adversity? Check out my masterclasses.

Dan's Dispatch

Tools to discover your strengths and do work you love.

    I'll never share your information because I'm not a jerk.


    Daniel Marzullo

    Coach for entrepreneurs and high performers.

    Related Posts

    Members Public

    This is how most people sabotage themselves

    When was the last time you challenged a negative thought you had? How we think (positively or negatively) sets the stage for how we feel, influencing our actions. Like a domino effect, the cycle continues, gaining momentum with each thought and action.  The bottom line is this: our relationship with

    This is how most people sabotage themselves
    Members Public

    The real cure for burnout

    Every article on Forbes or Entrepreneur echos the same advice, "more self-care, finding balance, or take a break." This overplayed, generic advice only addresses the symptoms of burnout, not the root cause. I dive much deeper into this in my burnout masterclass, but it's essential to address the root cause,

    The real cure for burnout
    Members Public

    How to build an antifragile mind

    Lately, my LinkedIn feed has been littered with posts of layoffs and more people #OpentoWork, especially in the tech space. I've had more conversations than usual with others suffering setbacks in their businesses or getting let go from their roles as they try to figure out what's next. When was

    How to build an antifragile mind