Job, Career, or Calling?

Suzanne Burnett
2 min readNov 30, 2023

Live the routine.

Get up. Do life. Crawl back into bed.

Repeat.

Recently there was a day that I woke up, started into the routine, and began thinking, “What is this all about? What is the point?!”

Our oldest daughter messaged me one day and said in so many words, “So I got my college degree. I married a wonderful man. I’m working full time. What is there to look forward to now?”

Our 19-year-old, just months into serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reported back one day: “This is a lot harder than I imagined it would be. Most of the people we talk to don’t want to hear a message about Jesus. I’m doing the same thing every day. How do I find and hang onto the joyful parts of this experience?”

Amidst these interactions, our high school senior introduced an idea from a book they were studying in literature class. What is the difference between a job, a career, and a calling?

The question dipped and dove through my thoughts for days until a personal conclusion was reached.

Job means I have to do it.

Career means I want to do it.

Calling means this is why God gave me breath and life, so I choose to do it.

Very carefully, the core of my personal life purpose was examined.

The disgruntled worker who was stomping through her daily job stepped back and looked at the bigger picture. Beyond casseroles, laundry, and a never-ending line up of chauffeur and child care duties that make up my chosen career, my heart grasped glimpses of a covenant calling: participating in God’s work and glory “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”, inside and outside of my home. 1

As stated by Neal A. Maxwell, here is “another cosmic fact: only by aligning our wills with God’s is full happiness to be found.”2

Even as you live the routine.

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Suzanne Burnett

Mother of twelve children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares spiritual insights learned through parenting and marriage.