Worker Types

Through my limited experience in life, I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of worker types in the human species – people who treat their work as: contract, career or calling. At the risk of making generalisations, these archetypes are something that I can easily categorise people into. It is also fairly easy to detect which category someone falls under.

  • Contract types are people who work for a job. They have chosen to trade their labour in exchange for money or other resource. These are people who find jobs and who see it as just something to get done in order to survive. They will often find happiness outside of the work-place, either with family, friends or some extra-curricular activity. These people are workers.
  • Career types are people who are out to build. They are interested in building a reputation and a career for themselves in order to increase their value. These are people who will find jobs that are in-line with their long term plans. They will often justify their sacrifices by attributing it to the pursuit of happiness. These people are planners.
  • Calling types are people who do what they love. They are the lucky few who are able to turn their passions into money making careers. They are passionate about their work because they see it as something larger than life. They will not be able to survive outside of their comfort area and would take whatever risks necessary for their love. These people are leaders.

That’s what I think anyway.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

8 thoughts on “Worker Types”

  1. You forgot one more type – Dumbass; those who delude themselves that they are in the Calling category – typically ridiculously underpaid and overworked.

  2. Typo for the “calling” type?
    “They will not be able to survive outside of their comfort area”

    I agree with you on this. But i also believe that there are different phase that an individual goes through. Not many people are lucky to know what they want. They just need time to look for their calling.

  3. haha I think I agree with Elanor – the only one of your groupings I vaguely fit into is the Calling category, but as I can never describe myself as ‘a leader’ I must fit in the Dumbass category. Though I will use the word ‘deluded’ to delude myself that it is any better.

  4. A couple of months ago, I had read something similar. Here it goes:


    In the middle ages, there are three masons who are all busy cutting the stones for a church.

    When asked, what they are doing, the first man answers: I’m making a living.

    The second one answers: I’m doing the best stone-cutting that you can find in the world.

    The third says, with a gleam in the eye: I am building a church!

    It is fun to think of something fundamental like work in this way, but I think this distinction may simplify too much. If a team of workers is inspired by a leader, don’t they also take a share in the leader’s passion and energy (calling if you will)? Is a leader’s passion enough to make his technical ability irrelevant so he can stay in his motivational comfort zone? And we are completely missing people-persons here, who seem to enjoy being among people and working with them and helping them get along…

    I like simplicity but humans are complex : )

    1. I think it’s still simple, if you look at it from the point of view of the ‘reason’ someone does something. That’s the intention of my post.

      So, if the people-person enjoys working with people because they honestly love it and cannot think of doing anything else, that’s – calling.

      If the worker works because they are inspired by a truly charismatic leader – errr.. dumbass! ๐Ÿ˜€

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