Having a calling has been linked to various positive outcomes, but the potential negative effects of having a calling have not yet received comparable attention. Moreover, research thus far has neglected to examine how callings affect the work–nonwork interface. Based on the work–home resources model, and work–family enrichment theory, we presumed that having a calling can increase as well as deplete personal resources at work, which, in turn, promote work–nonwork enrichment and conflict among older workers. We investigated these assumptions among 599 employees, aged between 50 and 60 years, by examining within-individual changes in presence of calling, positive affect at work, workaholism, work–nonwork enrichment, and work–nonwork conflict over a period of one year, with two measurement points. Results indicated that an increase in the presence of a calling was positively related to increased levels of positive affect at work, which, in turn, was positively related to increased work–nonwork enrichment. However, an increase in the presence of a calling was also positively related to increased workaholism, which was positively related to increased work–nonwork conflict. The findings suggest that having a calling is meaningfully related to the work–nonwork interface among older workers in both positive and negative ways.
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Hirschi, A., Keller, A. & Spurk D. (2018). Living one’s calling: Job resources as a link between having and living a calling. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 106, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2017.12.001
Recent research on calling has pointed to the important distinction between having and living a calling in order to explain the positive effects of callings on well-being. However, how the link between having a calling and living a calling might be explained has only been partially addressed. In the present study, we focused on the neglected role of workplace characteristics as key factors in this regard. In a sample of 232 working adults in Germany, we established that presence of calling and living a calling were significantly related to job resources in terms of decision-making autonomy, task significance, and social support at work. Moreover, presence of calling and living a calling positively related to level of education, leadership position, and salary. Testing indirect effects with bootstrapping analyses, we found that job resources, specifically decision-making autonomy and task significance, partially mediated the relation of presence of calling with living a calling, while controlling for educational level and leadership position. The results support the idea that living a calling is not just about finding work that fits one’s calling. People who have a calling are also more likely to live their calling by working in jobs with more job resources.
Keywords: Presence of calling; living a calling; work characteristics; job resources
Zhang, C., Hirschi, A., Herrmann, A., Wei, J., & Zhang, J. (in press). The future work self and calling: The mediational role of life meaning. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-15, doi:10.1007/s10902-016-9760-y
Research on calling prevailingly focuses on the positive effects on well-being and career development. However, explorations of the predictors and emergence of callings are sparse. We tested a model in which clarity about the future work self promotes one’s sense of calling through increased life meaning. We sampled 473 Chinese college students with a three-wave panel design over 1 year. Using time-lagged analysis, we found that the future work self at T1 significantly predicted increased life meaning at T2, which, in turn, significantly predicted increased calling at T3. This indirect effect was significant and supported the hypothesized longitudinal mediation model. The reverse effects of one’s calling as a predictor of self-clarity about one’s future work life or life meaning were not confirmed. Our findings suggest that among Chinese college students, self-clarity about one’s future work life and understanding one’s life meaning are two important steps in the development of one’s calling.
Keller, A., Spurk, D., Baumeler, F., & Hirschi, A. (2016). Competitive climate and workaholism: Negative sides of future orientation and calling. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 122-126, doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.02.061
The perception of a competitive climate at work creates stress, uncertainty, and a desire to outperform colleagues. In this study, we investigated whether a competitive climate is associated with increased workaholism. Furthermore, we assumed that especially employees with a future orientation and a presence of a calling will show more workaholic behavior when a competitive climate is present. Hierarchical regression analyses among 812 employees in Germany confirmed our hypotheses: Competitive climate was positively related with workaholism and was stronger related to workaholism under conditions of high future orientation and high calling. These findings suggest that contextual factors at work and individual factors interact to form workaholism. Our results may be explained by the experience of more uncertainty in competitive work climates for individuals with high future orientation and the presence of a calling. Consequently, these employees may invest more physical and cognitive efforts into their work to cope with the competition.
Zhang, C., Herrmann, A., Hirschi, A., Wei, J., & Zhang, J. (2015). Assessing Calling in Chinese College Students: Development of a Measure and Its Relation to Hope. Journal of Career Assessment, 23(4), 582-596, doi: 10.1177/1069072715595804.
Hirschi, A., & Herrmann, A. (2013). Calling and career preparation: Investigating developmental patterns and temporal precedence. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(1), 51-60. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2013.02.008
Callings and work engagement: Moderated mediation model of work meaningfulness, occupational identity, and occupational self-efficacy
Hirschi, A. (2012). Callings and work engagement: Moderated mediation model of work meaningfulness, occupational identity, and occupational self-efficacy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(3), 479-485. doi:10.1037/a0028949
Hirschi, A. & Herrmann, A. (2012). Vocational identity achievement as a mediator of presence of calling and life satisfaction. Journal of Career Assessment, 20(3), 309-321. doi:10.1177/1069072711436158