A recent study from the University of Michigan found that there are three categories people fall under. The first are those who are job-oriented. They work for a paycheck and have passions outside of their nine to five. The second are career-oriented -- those whose work is part of their identity and their job is a means to earning status and prestige. Lastly are the calling-oriented people. These are the ones that follow their passions and turn them into careers. They want to achieve self-fulfillment and make a positive impact.
Additionally, researchers found that the category you fit into was most likely, in some way, encouraged by parents.
"The way people see their work is fairly deep-seated, and it is influenced by the way one's parents saw their work, no matter whether parents and children share the same occupation," said Kathryn Dekas, a UM grad, current Google employee and co-author of the study.
"Socialization during adolescence is the mechanism through which this persistent link is established,” said co-author Wayne Baker, chair of management at UM's business school.
However, your view can change through experiences later in life, such as layoffs, unstable job opportunities, and an overall unhappiness with your career.
“If you are working in a distressed industry, that tends to swamp the effects of parental influence. I think it's hard to think about the higher purpose of your work if you are fearful of losing your job," said Baker.