Listen to your heart? Calling and receptivity to career advice


Dobrow, S. R. & Tosti-Kharas, J. 2012. “Listen to your heart? Calling and receptivity to career advice.” Journal of Career Assessment, 20(3): 264-280. Special Issue: Research on Work as a Calling.


This study explores calling in the context of career decision making. Specifically, the authors examine receptivity to advice that discourages individuals from pursuing a professional path in their calling’s domain. The authors hypothesize that people with a strong calling will be more likely to ignore negative career advice. In Study 1, a four-wave, 7-year longitudinal study following 450 amateur musicians across career stages, the regression analyses showed that those with a stronger calling toward music reported being more willing to ignore the discouraging career-related advice of a trusted mentor. These results held over time, such that an early calling predicted the degree to which young people were willing to ignore career advice equally strongly 6 weeks, 3½ years, and 7 years later. In Study 2, the authors replicated these findings in a cross-sectional study of 131 business students. The authors discuss the implications for research on calling, as well as for counseling strong-calling individuals.
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