D is for Bryan Dik: Finding And Following Your Calling

During the past 50 years many people have focused on helping others to find or create meaningful work.

The pioneers have included Bernard Haldane, Frank Parsons, Richard Bolles and many others. Many job seekers have also been strongly influenced by writers such as Viktor Frankl, who focused on living a life of meaning.

Bryan Dik and Ryan Duffy explore some of these themes in their book Make Your Job A Calling.


Packed with real-life stories, this book from Templeton Press provides many practical tools that people can use to find and follow their calling. Early in the book, however, the authors make the following points.

First, a calling is not a thing to be discovered once and for all, as in one grand flash of insight.

Second, every person has a calling.

Finally, any honest and legitimate area of work can potentially be a calling.

Bryan and Ryan point out:

Among other things, a calling is not only a career path that a person chooses to pursue, but that a person creates and cultivates.

Here is a short video from Fox 31 News Denver that features Bryan explaining how Maggie, a hospital cleaner, has created real purpose in her work.

Below are excerpts from the Make Your Job A Calling website. You can discover more via the following link.



Welcome to the official site for Make Your Job a Calling.

Here, you’ll find great tools and tips designed to help everyone in the working world – employees, employers, and job seekers, alike – to cultivate a sense of calling.

What is calling? Formally, authors Bryan Dik and Ryan Duffy define it as:

“a transcendent summons, experienced as originating beyond the self, to approach a particular life role in a manner oriented toward demonstrating or deriving a sense of purpose or meaningfulness and that holds other-oriented values and goals as primary sources of motivation.” 

They admit in the book that such a definition is quite academic and wordy, and for those of us outside the academy, they are kind enough to roughly translate it to having a sense of a higher purpose, which often involves helping other people.

This website will hopefully enhance your understanding of the practical lessons in the book, offer a sense of inspiration from the stories of calling that we hope to collect here, and provide opportunities to interact with both the authors and other calling-seekers in a meaningful way.

Below is a much longer video of a talk that Bryan gave at the University of Dubuque. Here is the official introduction to the video.

Bryan J. Dik, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University and co-Author of Make Your Job a Calling: How the Psychology of Vocation Can Change Your Life at Work, will speak:

“Web-Slinging and World-Changing: Career Guidance from Spider-Man, Martin Luther, and a Hospital Janitor.”

There aren’t many topics on which superheroes, Protestant Reformers, and cutting-edge psychological science converge, but “How can I discern and live out my calling?” is one.

In this talk, Bryan will use examples and evidence to explore what a calling means, how to discern your calling, and how to transform an uninspiring job into a pathway for purpose.

He will offer practical steps you can take to bring joy and meaning into your work, regardless of where you are in your career path.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>