Job vs. Calling: A Keynote Speech For Your Finding Purpose in Your Life

Job vs. Calling: A Keynote Speech For Your Finding Purpose in Your Life

This is where I am coming from: Dr. Gary North is my late mentor, as you can easily recognize after you have watched his speech below.

I am trying to put his ideas into practice, in my own life. I have read most of what Dr. North has written in his lifetime, that is where I take my knowledge from.

You may also want to watch the speech below after you read my following short review.

What “Calling” is All About

Gary North’s exploration of the concept of “calling” provides a new perspective that makes us rethink our ideas about career and success. This is especially useful for young people who are looking for more meaning in their lives. North explains that there is a difference between a job or occupation and a calling. A job is just a way to make money, but a calling is the most important thing a person can do where they are unique and cannot be replaced. This idea is very relevant for people in fields like law, where chasing success often gets more attention than finding personal satisfaction and helping the wider community. And “success” is often measured by “success indicators” which leads to an entire area of misconceptions about the purpose of life.

Dr. North’s view of “calling” is deeply connected to Christian beliefs. It is based on the Bible and the principles of the Protestant work ethic. He believes that God values all honest work, and that the quality of our work is more important than what the job actually is. This encourages young professionals to aim for excellence in their field. They should do this not just to make money or gain respect, but as a way of serving a higher purpose.

Unique Points Compared to Mainstream Thought

Dr. North’s ideas are very different from modern liberal, socialist, and woke thoughts. These often focus more on community goals and social structures than on individual purpose and spirituality. He strongly believes in personal responsibility, individual calling, and the importance of each person’s contribution to their work, no matter what the job is.

His main points are:

  1. There is a difference between a job (a way to earn money) and a calling (the most important and unique task).
  2. It is important to match your career with your calling for deeper satisfaction.
  3. Aim for excellence and personal growth in your field as a way of serving and being committed.

Differences from Others in the Field

Unlike many other career-focused speakers and writers, Dr. North includes spiritual and ethical aspects in the idea of a career. This gives a more complete view of work and success.

Similarities with Others in the Field

Like other motivational works, he highlights the importance of personal growth, self-improvement, and finding your own unique path.

Young people can use this by finding their calling within (seldom possible) or outside their legal careers. They aim for excellence in their work and see their job as a way to support their true calling.

Some may think Dr. North’s approach is too idealistic or hard to use in the competitive, practical world of modern careers, but that makes this approach so unique and fulfilling. Once you have found your calling, the work and life integrate easily. There is no more work-life balance problem.

Significant Gaps

A missing part in Dr. North’s could be practical, step-by-step advice on how to find and follow your calling. But that can be solved easily. You just need to sign up at his website which is run by his wife. You find all the materials there. My website here also has quite some materials about Dr. North’s view of “calling”.

Fit into Overall Work

These teachings fit well with Dr. North’s larger work, which often looks at the connection between economics, Christian faith, and personal values. I highly recommend his books that are available for free in the Internet.

I am very sure that you will like Dr. North’s keynote speech.

Here are the three most important ideas:

  1. Occupation vs. Calling: Understand the difference and aim to match your career with your calling.
  2. Excellence in Work: Aim for excellence in any work you do as a way of serving and being committed.
  3. Personal Growth: See your career as a path to personal and spiritual growth.

And here are three key facts:

  1. North’s idea of calling is deeply based on Christian theology and the Protestant work ethic.
  2. He challenges the current view of career success, focusing more on personal satisfaction and helping others.
  3. His teachings suggest viewing every job as a step towards more satisfaction and aligning with your calling.

The Keynote Speech

You are now ready for watching Dr. North’s keynote speech about “Job vs. Calling”

If you cannot watch the video above, then you can watch it here:

The transcript of his speech is here:Economics Job vs. Calling Gary North

And here is a timeline of Dr. North’s speech:

  1. Introduction and Context (00:00:11 – 00:02:27): Dr. North starts by talking about the different groups he has spoken to with this speech, showing its wide relevance. He talks about giving this speech in Memphis to people who had never worked full-time.
  2. The Problem of Job Retention and the Concept of Calling (00:02:27 – 00:04:41): He talks about the issue of keeping a job among his listeners and introduces the idea of “calling” versus “job.” He suggests that work life has a deeper meaning than just making money.
  3. Max Weber’s Thesis and Its Limitations (00:04:41 – 00:06:49): Dr. North criticizes Max Weber’s ideas from his essays on Protestant ethics and capitalism. He focuses on Weber’s mistake in mixing up occupation with calling.
  4. Distinction Between Occupation and Calling (00:06:49 – 00:08:59): He clearly separates occupation (a way to make money) from calling (the most important work where one is unique).
  5. Gender Differences in Perceiving Calling (00:08:59 – 00:10:52): Dr. North discusses the different ways men and women see their callings, especially in terms of being parents.
  6. Biblical Examples and Independence in Calling (00:10:52 – 00:12:43): Using the Apostle Paul as an example, he stresses the importance of being independent in following one’s calling.
  7. Challenges of Adhering to Ideological Beliefs in Occupations (00:12:43 – 00:14:39): He talks about the problems one faces when their ideological beliefs do not match their job.
  8. The Influence and Challenges of Mises and Rothbard (00:14:39 – 00:22:20): Dr. North talks about the careers of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, showing their dedication to their callings despite difficulties.
  9. Personal Anecdote and Decision to Pursue a Unique Path (00:22:20 – 00:33:27): He shares his own story of following his calling, which involved combining Christian beliefs with Austrian economics.
  10. Strategies for Writing and Impact of Digital Technology (00:33:27 – 00:49:00): Dr. North gives advice on writing, the role of book reviews, and using digital platforms to share work.
  11. Legacy and the Cumulative Power of Writing (00:49:00 – 00:55:31): He emphasizes the lasting impact of consistent writing and building a work collection over time.
  12. Jacob Neusner’s Prodigious Output as an Example (00:55:31 – 00:59:57): He uses Jacob Neusner’s prolific writing career as an example of the power of dedication to one’s calling.
  13. Conclusion and Encouragement (00:59:57 – End): Dr. North ends by urging the audience to find and follow their calling, using their job to support this goal.


Overall, the speech mixes personal stories, historical examples, practical tips, and philosophical talks to examine the idea of calling versus job, especially in economics and personal achievement.

If it helped me to find a purpose in life then it may also help you.


Martin “Calling” Schweiger


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