Don’t Settle For a Job — Seek a Calling

Why you should not settle for a job but rather seek your calling

Abdullah Nadeem
3 min readMar 14, 2021

“Don’t settle for a job, profession or career, seek a calling” — Phil Knight

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Phil Knight is the founder of the global phenomenon ‘Nike’. In Phil’s autobiography ‘Shoe Dog’, he talks about how it was so hard for him to settle for a job and that his true passion lied within building his shoe business.

Phil was originally a runner and due to his background, he observed the flaws within the running shoe industry. When he realised that he had better ideas to improve the quality of his running shoes, he got to work. This became his calling.

In 1962, Knight, 24, orders $26.56 in track shoes from Japan’s Onitsuka Co. and starts an import business. 2 years later, Knight and his former Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman, each put up $500 and start Blue Ribbon Sports. It records $8,000 in sales.

This level of growth continued to what is now the juggernaut ‘Nike’ with $32.4 billion in annual sales.

But how was he able to consistently contribute to the growth of his business with other ventures going on? This is because this idea, mixed with his passion for running, had become his ‘calling’ it wasn’t a job to him. He knew the quality of shoes in the industry can be improved and he took it upon himself to do that. Not to seek a job or a potential career, but because it made sense. And that is what your ‘calling’ is, something that makes sense for you to do and therefore you can be consistent at it to expand further and further.

“You want to be known for something you can be consistent at”

In my eyes, there’s a difference between waking up to work a job and waking up to seek your calling. It may sound cheesy but think about it, you definitely have a dream job or way of life if I were to ask you. So who is to say that cannot be your calling.

Becoming complacent with our situation in life is one of the many downfalls we can face. Complacency breeds a lack of progression.

Having a ‘calling’ in life would result in you no longer have to set an alarm for times you wish you didn't have to wake up at. But rather, the calling in your life would set its own body clock for your sleep, resulting in you being excited to wake up without the need of an alarm.

Now, I am not saying drop everything you have worked for and go full throttle to this calling, because who knows, maybe once you reach the finish line you wish you had never ran the race.

What I am saying is, always work towards ‘seeking your calling’ even if your current life situation is holding you back. Working 1% towards that calling every day whilst still living the life you need to will still have you 365x closer to that goal by the end of the year.

Have a great week!


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Abdullah Nadeem

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