American society does not talk much about calling anymore. It is more likely to think in terms of career. Yet, for many people a career becomes the altar on which they sacrifice their lives. Benjamin Hunnicutt is a historian who specializes in the history of work at the University of Iowa. He notes that work has become our new religion, where we worship and give our time. As people's commitment to family, community, and faith are shrinking, they begin to look to their careers to provide them with meaning, connectedness, identity, and esteem.
A calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career, which threatens to become my god. A career is something I choose for myself; a calling is something I receive. A career is something I do for myself; a calling something I do for God. A career promises status, money, or power; a calling generally promises difficulty and even some suffering -- and the opportunity to be used by God.
-- John Ortberg in If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat