• We thank Justin Berg, Marya Besharov, Dawn Chandler, Lance Ferris, Yoav Ganzach, Adam Grant, Mike Pratt, Brent Rosso, Jeff Thompson, Amy Wrzesniewski, and participants in the May Meaning Meeting 2010 for their invaluable comments in shaping the ideas in this manuscript. We are grateful to associate editor Bradford Bell and two anonymous reviewers for their insights and recommendations.

Shoshana R. Dobrow, Graduate School of Business Administration, Fordham University, 1790 Broadway, Suite 1314, New York, NY 10019;


This study clarifies the definition of calling—a consuming, meaningful passion people experience toward a domain—and develops a 12-item scale measure of calling. Drawing on multiwave longitudinal, 2-wave longitudinal, and cross-sectional data from 1,500 participants (2,278 observations) in 4 separate domains, music, art, business, and management, we demonstrate the scale's reliability and unidimensional structure across contexts and over time. We establish the scale's convergent validity and discriminant validity. We determine criterion-related validity through the scale's relationship to satisfaction with the calling domain, career-related self-efficacy, clarity of professional identity, career insight, attending a calling-oriented college program, professional pursuit of the calling domain, and differences across the 4 domains. We discuss implications of this reliable, valid measure for theory and research on calling, meaning of work, and careers.