Russian students’ secular conceptions of life calling: A qualitative analysis


Background. During the last decade life calling has become a dynamically developing research area in psychology, management, and counseling. However, it has not been empirically investigated in Russia, in spite of a rich intellectual and spiritual tradition, and abundant research on related constructs, such as personal meaning. Objective. The aim of the present study is an initial qualitative exploration of the concept of calling in Russian culture. Design. Qualitative document analysis was employed to examine open-ended responses from 104 college students regarding their definition of calling and actions they undertook to discern and implement that calling. Results. It was revealed that the participants saw calling as something more than a mere job, were intrinsically motivated to find it and dedicated themselves to it, associated calling with the usage of their abilities, and at the same time expected it to make them more energized and bring them success without considerable effort. While some participants felt called to a specific domain, the majority indicated abstract other or self-oriented callings. Regarding implementation of calling, the participants divided into two groups, those who did something specific, such as studying and practicing, and those who did “everything” or “nothing”. Conclusion. These results are largely in line with similar findings in other cultures. The results can be used in career guidance in educational institutions, as well as in private counseling. Specific recommendations for practice, as well as directions for future research are explored.

Psychology in Russia: State of the Art
Polina Beloborodova
Polina Beloborodova
PhD Candidate

Studying how mindfulness and sustainability help us to live more fulfilling and happy lives.