Avoid Work - Use Your Charisms Print
Written by Michael Fones   
Sunday, 01 February 2009 12:12
"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."
As I write this I am on a US Airways flight from Burbank to Omaha, via Phoenix. The US Airways in-flight magazine has a regular feature called, Save My Career, and features Donald Asher, a career guidance guru, offering advice to people with job problems. In these harsh economic times, people are worried about job layoffs and downsizing, but one young college senior is fretting about his father’s approach to a job (“it’s simply a way to support a family”). He wants life to be more than work, work, work. To this young man, Mr. Asher offers this advice, “The greatest success, in career terms, is in finding your calling. Among people who work, some have jobs, some have careers, and some have a calling. A calling is something you’d do even if you weren’t paid to do it. A calling is intrinsically satisfying, regardless of compensation. And it turns out that finding your calling leads to more success.”

But how to discover a calling? Is it just a mystery that some lucky people happen upon? Do only a few actually have a calling? Is there some method for figuring it out? For the Catholic, everyone has a calling – a vocation; a unique work of love that is given us by God. The Called & Gifted workshop offers a way to discover some of the clues placed within us by God as to His calling for us. These are our charisms, and discerning them leads to the opportunity to actually search out a job or career that will be our calling – even if we have to invent it! The great thing, too, is not only are the charisms (spiritual gifts) given to us by God at our baptism great clues to our calling, they are also the means that will help to ensure our success and satisfaction.

That’s because when we actually use our charisms, we are energized, satisfied, and feel like we “fit” as we use them. The experience of using them is similar to what some folks call, “flow,” in which time seems to pass quickly and effortlessly. In addition, because the charisms are means by which God works through us, we actually will see supernatural results to our efforts! That means we will see results that might sometimes surprise us, and we’ll receive positive feedback, either directly in the form of praise, or indirectly in the form of people beating the proverbial path to our door.

If you haven’t taken the Called & Gifted workshop yet, do so! You can also get the CD version of the workshop from the Catherine of Siena Institute. In the meanwhile, pay attention to the things you do for others that you really enjoy, especially if you get feedback or results that seem to go beyond the effort you put into the activity. The key to a calling/vocation, though, is that it must always be for others in some way. God has made us in His image, which means that we are made to live for others. That’s the common characteristic of every calling – and that’s where we’ll find our deepest satisfaction.