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Christian Union: The Magazine
October 4, 2021

Career "Calling" Takes on New Meaning for Some  

In the past fifty years, the number of hours logged at work has declined for some demographics, remained the same for those in the middle class, but surprisingly, for wealthy men, the number of hours spent working has increased enormously. For some in this high-income group, work has become a “kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community.” It’s called workism.

Handsome young man sitting at desk with computer taking notes while working overhours on important project.

For most of history, work was a means to an end and that end was leisure. Moreover, as one became more wealthy, hours of work declined and hours of leisure rose. But for modern rich men, work is more than a job and much more than a means to an end, it is the source of their identity.

As religious affiliations have fallen, modern people are placing their hope in a variety of places. In this article from The Atlantic, Derek Thompson points out that as religious belief has shrunk, work has been endowed with deeper meaning as language turned from jobs to careers to callings. For the workist, their calling is what brings them meaning and purpose in the world.

But the religion of work proves to exact a high price, especially for a younger generation who have both the pressure to find a calling that fulfills their life purpose while also navigating the additional pressure from social media. Thompson notes that as our culture worships work and makes it the primary source of one’s identity, not finding one’s passion leaves them feeling empty, isolated, and like they are failing. 

As a leadership development organization that serves at our nation’s most renowned universities, Christian Union ministers to college students and professionals in major cities who must daily choose to either worship their work or their Savior. More and more our nation needs workers who know that their career is not their god and are able to share the good news of Christ in winsome and articulate ways. 

Read the full article here.