The predictors of calling and the role of career satisfaction in working adults

Kari Ann Leavell, University of Southern Mississippi


A significant amount of time in adult life is spent working. Individuals enter into their world of work by many circumstances, including feeling called to a given career or viewing their work as a calling. The psychological construct of calling has been shown to have considerable implications for career-related outcomes, including career satisfaction. Further, satisfaction with work has demonstrated a considerable impact on more global areas such as satisfaction with and quality of life, meaning in life, and religiousness. Increased understanding of the construct of calling and its contribution to career development and career-related outcomes can clarify how individuals' experiences with their careers can be improved through specific, calling-oriented interventions. In a sample of working adults from diverse career fields, calling was investigated as a predictor of career satisfaction along with religiousness, work motivation, meaning in life, and career commitment. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that calling was not the best predictor of career satisfaction in the current study. However, calling was found to explain a meaningful amount of variance in career satisfaction after examination of structure coefficients (Courville & Thompson, 2001). Alternative predictors of career satisfaction were identified, including career commitment and meaning in life, as well as demographic variables such as one's age, household income, length of time invested in one's job, and educational background. While additional exploration of calling is needed, the present study lends unique and compelling evidence to support its utility in relation to career satisfaction in populations of working adults.