Finding Your Calling at Work with Amy Wrzesniewski

by Scott Barry Kaufman, May 22, 2018

Today we have Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski on the podcast. Dr. Wrzesniewski is a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. Her research focuses on how people make meaning of their work in difficult contexts, such as stigmatized occupations, virtual work, or absence of work, and the experience of work as a job, career, or calling. Her current research involves studying how employees shape their interactions and relationships with others in the workplace to change both their work identity and the meaning of the job.

Topics incude:

  • The definition of meaning
  • The four main sources of meaning
  • Spirituality as a potential source of meaning at work
  • The way work allows us to transcend the self
  • The definition of calling
  • How to find your most meaningful calling
  • The importance of “self-resonance”
  • The difference between consequences and motives
  • What is job crafting and how can it help you increase your calling?
  • Is job crafting contagious?
  • The benefit of collective, team-level job crafting
  • The impact of virtual work on job crafting
  • How does meaning shape job transitions?
  • The effects of occupational regret on people’s lives


3 Responses to “Finding Your Calling at Work with Amy Wrzesniewski”

  1. Beyers says:

    This has been a really insightful episode. After 20 years in corporate settings, I have become a master at crafting a niche for myself (with varying success), in making my career (or job rather), more acceptable. This episode has given me some scientific tools to adequately explain it as you did with your guest on the show.
    Oh, and I do think crafting is contagious. The adjustments I have made in my own job and daily routine is often interrogated by co-workers, and I noticed that this has caused them to question the corporate messaging, or, organizational scripts as your guest described it. It probably also challenges some of the groupthink they have become entrapped in…

    The other interesting discussion point is job transitions when faced with lack of meaning. I have changed jobs quite a bit and this provides short to medium term relief, but ultimately if you’re in the wrong career, strategies such as crafting and job changing are good short term coping mechanisms but perhaps not sustainable or powerful enough to provide long term job satisfaction…I think.
    Another relatively ineffective technique to find meaning, is to negotiate better pay….works in the very short term, but soon wears off.

    Perhaps I will be able to sunset my business career in 10 years when finished with studies in Psychology, but until then, I’ll have to panelbeat my business career a little longer….

    Great podcast. Thank you
    Beyers

  2. KimB says:

    Thank you for another incredible eye opening podcast!
    KB

  3. Hi, thank you for an informative and fascinating podcast. I have just started listening to your podcasts today and have listened to three in a row! I look forward to hearing more thought provoking podcasts like this one.

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