Ryan Duffy and Bryan Dik

By Saleem Rana

Interview by Allen Cardoza
December 4, 2012

Ryan Duffy PhD and Bryan Dik PhD, both professors of psychology, spoke to Allen Cardoza on his weekly L.A. Talk Radio Show, Answers for the Family about why it is of paramount importance for adolescents to decide to make their work a calling.

Bryan’s research work includes looking into the psychology of finding meaningful work. Additionally, two years ago, he received the 2010 Early Career Professional Award from the Society for Vocational Psychology.

Ryan’s research focuses on vocational psychology and positive psychology, and he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Career Assessment and Journal of Counseling Psychology.

Make Your Work a Calling

Work, the two professors quickly pointed out as the interview began, takes on a whole new flavor when it is approached as a “calling”.  Traditionally, people approach their jobs in one of two ways:  one, as a way to pass time or make a living; and two, as a way to climb a status ladder.  Those who chose work for the first reason – to pass time or make a living – usually do the minimum necessary to keep their jobs while those who choose work for the second reason – to climb a status ladder – usually are more concerned with money and power than in making a difference to the world.  However, there is a third choice available: to choose work as a “calling”, as a way to use personal abilities and natural gifts to improve the common good either directly or indirectly.  Those who choose this path experience a greater sense of well-being because they focus on giving back to their community.

The interview covered a broad spectrum of questions about what a teenager needs to do to find the right calling.  For instance, Cardoza asked how teenagers could identify a calling and what options remained for a high school student who did not focus on good grades and could not get into a college of their choice.  He also asked whether the interests that spurred a sense of calling remained stable over time and whether a part-time job or an internship was advisable.

Final Thoughts

One of the crucial decisions adolescents have to make is whether to go to college or join the work force.  However, this decision is based on first deciding on the right vocational calling.  This interview covered the many aspects involved in deciding why work should be a calling, how to decide on the right calling, and how to act on the decision.

To get the answers to the many questions raised in the interview about how teens can find their right calling, go to: http://answersforthefamily.com/how-identifying-a-teens-talents-can-translate-to-rewarding-future-careers/


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