How to find your calling in life and work: practical steps and inspiring stories

Yulia Esina, an expert in the field of personnel development, coach, manager, wrote an article especially for the Netology blog about how to choose a profession if you are already completely desperate.

Quite often clients come to me with questions: “what should I do,” “how to understand my calling,” “am I doing what I need to do in life?” After analyzing my work experience and client results, I decided to write a short article on this topic.

As practice shows, people are driven into a dead end by the desire to accurately formulate the name of a profession or position. But in order to enjoy your work, it is enough to determine the area that corresponds to your psychotype and character traits, as well as formulate the values ​​that will be maximally manifested in the chosen area.

I don't mean genius: as a rule, it does not need to be demonstrated, it declares itself. I'm talking about the calling of an ordinary person.

Free training program: “Digital start: the first step to a sought-after profession”

There are several ways to self-determinate: testing, coaching to clarify values ​​and mission, turning to childhood memories and favorite games. But the key question is: “If you didn’t have to provide for yourself, think about money and had all the resources for self-realization, what would you do?”

I'll tell you a little about each of the methods. Ideally, use them all.

Profession or calling

Profession and vocation are different concepts in the Russian coordinate system. For example, we can say: “Raising children is her calling,” “A doctor is not just a profession, it’s a calling,” “Leading people is his calling.” But it sounds strange: “He found his calling - he became an auditor.”

If we break down the concept of “vocation” into its component parts, we will understand that there are several meanings hidden in it. The business that we call “calling” must:

Be useful and necessary for people

Arouse respect

Meet the character and interests of a person, correspond to his “I”

The vocation is not considered from a financial point of view. It doesn’t matter whether you can get rich doing your chosen business or not. This is what distinguishes a “calling” from a profession that generates income. One can even notice in the word “calling” some element of the supernatural, because in Russian culture God “calls” or the people “call” the tsar to reign. As they say, when you don’t choose a job, but it chooses you, then the job becomes a calling.

Other languages ​​also have corresponding concepts. English calling and vocation have the same root "to call" and similar religious meaning. And in Japanese culture, since ancient times, there has been an unusual concept of ikigai. Ikigai is the “meaning of life”, a feeling of fulfillment and happiness, consisting of several important parts. Ikigai necessarily includes a person’s professional self-realization, but at the same time it also has some gender differences: for a woman to feel a full life, a successful marriage and satisfaction with her life history are important, and for men, health, income and housing are important.

The words “calling” and “destination” suggest that our ideal life’s work is given to us from somewhere above, but don’t let this lead you astray. Intuition and divine influence alone are not enough to find your path. To find your calling and fulfill yourself, it is important to actively search.

Why are we looking for ourselves?

In most cases, a person begins to live consciously by the age of 20-30. During this period, a certain crisis of meaning may arise, thoughts appear about mistakes made in the past: “If I had chosen a different path then, I would have been able to avoid many failures...” I want to feel my inner mission to follow it.

Purpose in the world

Many believe in a special purpose given to us at birth. Others believe that it is necessary to try different activities, revealing all their talents. These aspirations and ambitions save us from two important things: oblivion and the fear of living an empty life.

You can understand where the Universe is trying to take you by establishing competent communication with your inner world and the surrounding space. To do this, sign up for my consultation and reveal new facets of your “I”.

How to find a calling. Methods

If you are looking for a life’s work, it is important to answer the global question “Who am I?”, or more precisely, “Who am I here?”
It starts with understanding yourself. 5 ways of self-analysis:

1. Ask yourself questions.

The list of questions to find your calling is unlimited.
Here are some of them: Why do I need to work? What am I interested in doing every day? What am I good at? What would I do if I didn't have to work? What do I want to achieve in 10 years? What values ​​were instilled in me as a child? Do I agree with them now? Questions can be more specific: What books do I like to read most? Will I be able to find my way in an unfamiliar city? Do I like solving puzzles? Do I love animals? Is it easy to convince me? 2.

Ask your loved ones
the same .
They have been watching you for many years and can tell you unobvious things about your character and even superpowers. 3. Look for new activities and don’t be afraid of new groups.
An X-ray machine for your interests and abilities is a new team, in interaction with people your individuality is more clearly revealed.
You involuntarily compare yourself to others. For example, what do you do better, how easily do you get along with people, are you interested in the same things as new acquaintances? 4. Look into your childhood.
What did you like to do when you didn't have to think about making money?
And when did you not have to worry about school grades? Sculpt animals from plasticine, build a treehouse, or tease the neighbor's dog. This is where the origins of the calling lie in childhood. 5. Take online career tests.
A good test is an objective tool that helps you understand your abilities, interests and personality traits.

The importance of life goals

A little talk about goals will help us better understand the essence of the above. For example, you already know what you want from life. You love life, strive to develop and learn new things. You want to be independent and free, so it is important for you to live and enjoy life, get to know yourself, communicate, travel and explore the world around you. You want your actions to make the world a better place, at least a little.

These are your life goals. But what can you do to realize them? What social role suits you: writer, teacher, psychologist, director? Which profession and business suits your main needs? As you can see, the answer is difficult to give. But what if you try to come up with a profession that suits you? What kind of profession will it be?

First of all, your work shouldn't consume all your time. You will start a family and have children, and naturally you will want to spend more time with your loved ones. Therefore, your calling should leave you more time than what your regular job allows. In addition, you have a desire to devote your time to hobbies and hobbies, such as self-development, hiking, reading books, sports, cinema, music, chatting with friends, etc.

You have absolutely no desire to be “attached” to your workplace, and spend 5-6 days a week there from morning to evening, come home angry and tired, have two measly weeks of vacation for 6 months of endless work. Your favorite job or life's work should allow you to enjoy every day, relax regularly, discover new places and communicate with your family. Based on this, it is better to make your source of income remote and autonomous, at least in part.

But you do not prioritize independence and freedom, and are quite ready to devote as much time and effort to your calling as necessary. But this is only true if the activity allows you to realize your plans, receive inspiration and feedback. Therefore, it is best that your business belongs to you, but if this is not the case, it in any case should give you the freedom that you dream of.

You probably noticed that so far we are only talking about working conditions, but its content remains in question. So what exactly should you do? You can become a programmer or copywriter (or choose another direction of freelancing), or you can start developing your business. The most important thing here is that this business allows you to earn money and remain free.

But what about personal preference and benefiting people? And here lies the trick - no one actually says that it depends on the job. Think for yourself: once you start doing the ideal business that gives you freedom and prosperity, you will get a lot of time that you can devote to what interests you.

Of course, it would be good if the source of income itself already allowed you to do this, but, firstly, today’s realities are such that there is very little such “work”, and secondly, this is not necessary. For example, you can become a writer and try to monetize this business in order to achieve your goals. But at the same time, you can master the art of photography and start selling your services as a photographer. For this, of course, you also need to work hard, but then you will have time to write.

We can develop what has been said for a very long time, but now we can draw one fundamental conclusion: calling must necessarily be subordinated to life goals. And here the question of choosing this vocation, both in life and in profession, deserves special attention.

Online test for calling in life

We have several tests you can rely on to answer the question "Who am I?"
These tests can be the first step in finding yourself: ✔ Free “Personality and Professions” test.

Designed for high school students and applicants, but will also be of interest to adults.
After completing it, you will find out which professions from completely different areas suit your personality traits
. For example, the profession of an event manager requires communication skills; to become a doctor, you need to be patient and attentive; and to become an entrepreneur, it is important not to be afraid to take risks. As a result of testing, you will receive a list of professions that match your personality type. Number of questions: 50.

Free test "Profperspective".

The test will help
assess interests and preferences in professional activities
. Find out which professional profile is closer to you: economics, natural science, artistic and creative, or some other. Number of questions: 32.

Methods "Career Guidance Online"

(for grades 8-11) and
“Online Career Consultant”
(for adults) is
a comprehensive professional diagnosis and conversation with a psychologist, career guidance specialist
. As a result of the test and consultation, you will receive a list of the most suitable professions based on your abilities, interests and character traits. A consulting psychologist will tell you in detail about the chosen professions, their characteristics and the possibilities of obtaining the necessary education. Number of questions: 118. Duration of each service: 1 hour of testing + 1 hour of consultation via Skype. Complete “Online Career Guidance” >> Complete “Online Career Consultant” >>

How fate and karma contribute to a place in the sun

There is an opinion that everything is predetermined in advance, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot change this, everything is predetermined, and all troubles are retribution for mistakes made in a past life. Many people are convinced that successful and happy people are born, not made. As part of this idea, I will describe several ways to influence the purpose:

  1. Some believe that what a child is named at birth has a huge impact on his future. Together with him, the baby receives certain character traits, strengths and weaknesses. Wanting to turn the vector of their life path in a different direction, many decide to change their name.
  2. Luck loves optimists. If you learn to see the positives in any situation and extract useful experience from everything, rest assured that fortune will be on your side! With your positivity, you will begin to charge those around you, triggering the mechanism of attraction: you won’t even notice how bright, talented, enthusiastic people will gather around you, ready to support your ideas.
  3. Forgive insults. Probably, you were once treated poorly, hurt, and because of this situation, a block arose on the mental and emotional levels. It is he who does not allow you to return to the path of happiness. Let go of these thoughts, let the past be left behind, and move forward.

How to find your calling, your favorite job or your business

When choosing a profession, the question helps: “How will I be useful to people?” It seems that this altruistic approach has nothing to do with the real world, where people go to work to earn money. But studies show that representatives of those professions that benefit society

. To find your business, it is important to understand the world of professions. You may not even know that the profession that is perfect for you exists. See information about professions here >> Ratings and latest labor market research can be found in this section of the site >>


A calling is a message, an idea that you bring to the world. This is your task, the desire to change something in society. Think about how you can help this world, how you can and want to improve it.

Think about whether there is something you are willing to do even for free. Is there something you can’t imagine yourself without? Do it in any condition, at any time. Look for your calling in this area.

“There is one thing that most people do not know: happiness is possible only when you realize yourself as a person, when you realize your calling, your nature. If you stick to something, some familiar place, stability, there will be stability. But there will never be satisfaction. Internally, you need to weigh what you want: external stability or to be a happy person,” Oleg Gadetsky, psychologist.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend two more articles: “Is it possible to see the meaning of life in work”, “The problem of choosing a profession”.

How to find your calling if you're 15

Adolescence is a period of self-identification when the question “Who am I here?” becomes central to a person. The search for oneself and the desire for self-realization pushes one to choose a profession. Why then is it so difficult for a high school student to find a calling?

At the age of 13-16, a person has very little information about professions; he is used to studying and, as a rule, has never worked. He has little idea what a logistician or SEO specialist does, and how a design engineer differs from a test engineer.

According to the observations of our career consultants, the surest way for a teenager to find a calling is through clubs and sections

. If at the age of 11-13 a student independently chooses additional education, looking for sports and intellectual activities outside of school, then by the end of school he will come with a clear understanding of what he wants to become.

We can distinguish 2 extremes in professional self-determination:

a teenager cannot choose from many directions, that is, “he wants everything at once”

and vice versa, he doesn’t want anything, he has not yet started career guidance

Steps to finding yourself and your purpose in life

Let's look at 5 steps to find yourself and your purpose in life.

Listen to your soul

Choose a time and place, retire, turn off communications. Imagine or draw, write down, speak your future. Give free rein to your imagination. What are these images? Find among them what your soul desires.

Turn on your mind

Think about how you can make what you envisioned into reality. We will talk about this more in the section “Tips for finding a calling at work.”

Create Awareness

Awareness is living here and now, experiencing as much as possible what you want to do. A calling is something that gives pleasure at the level of thoughts, feelings and body.

Get into the right state

Prepare yourself to solve problems. Convince yourself that you can handle difficulties if they arise. But the main thing is to convince yourself that you need to solve problems as they arise.

Take action

Make a step-by-step plan to make your dreams come true. For example, if you understand that you lack knowledge of the English language, then you can sign up for courses right now. Many people justify their inaction by saying they don’t have time or money. In fact, this means one thing - there is no desire. Start with free video lessons, lectures, or reading articles and books.

Free up your time by eliminating unnecessary scrolling through social networks and watching TV too often. Or start getting up earlier and going to bed a little later. Set aside at least half an hour or an hour a day for your dream, and within a month the result will appear.

How to find your calling if you are over 40

Feelings of being lost can be encountered at any age. And in the same way, you can find your calling at 5 years old and at 85. As an adult, finding your favorite thing can be even more difficult than as a teenager. There are professions, such as a doctor, a professional athlete or a musician, that are difficult to “get into” as an adult. They require early career guidance and long-term training. And for those who chose these professions as adults, it is more difficult to make up for lost time and achieve success. That’s why finding yourself in adolescence is so important.

If you now doubt whether you are in the right business, or whether you have chosen the right profession, then take our free online test for adults who are already working, “Is it time to change your profession.”

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