A Gathering of Curious Minds

This is a past event

19 people went

Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 Rittenhouse Square · Philadelphia

How to find us

The Ethical Society is tucked in the SW corner of Rittenhouse Square. Enter from the street, walk up the stairs to the 2nd floor and look for the Hmmm signs.

Location image of event venue


What are you most passionate about in life? Are you a person who feels it is important to pursue your dreams, or do you prefer a simple life of stable predictability? What about in the domain of work? Are you satisfied with what you do, or do you aspire for more?

Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale University’s School of Management, distinguishes between three different work orientations:

1) We relate to our work is a JOB, in which case the motivation is a paycheck (or some other compensation); we see work as a chore or necessity; we expect very little from it (other than money or other compensation), and what we look forward to is our lunch break, TGIF, our next vacation, or retirement.

2) We relate to our work as a CAREER, in which case our motivation is advancement; we see our work like a race or a game we are trying to win; our expectation for our work (besides compensation) is prestige, power, or recognition; and what we look forward to is our next promotion.

3) We relate to our work as a CALLING, in which case our motivation for our work is the work itself (i.e. our work is what psychologists call a “self-concordant goal”); we see work as our passion, a privilege, or a meaningful purpose; our expectation of our work is fulfillment, or a better world; and what we look forward to with our work is more work.

Which of these best describes your predominant relationship to your work? Note: there is no black and white here – you may move back and forth between different orientations; or you may find that aspects of your work feel like a “job” even though you feel – for the most part – that you are engaged in your calling.

Are there people in the world you know - or have heard about - who have dream jobs, and are passionately driven by a calling? Who are they? Are you one of them?

If you are not currently jazzed about your work, are you okay with that? Is it enough to have other areas of your life that you enjoy, or do you aspire for more? Do you have hobbies that you are passionate about? Is that enough? Or is there a “side hustle” you are working to develop?

If you could make anything happen, would you keep things as they are, or would you create something bigger? What are some things that might really light you up? Use your imagination, and don’t censor yourself – some ideas may be within your reach, while others may be so fanciful that you can’t even imagine how they could ever come true. (One of my dreams is to be a Jedi Knight, but who in this galaxy is hiring?).

For an added conversation piece when we meet, go to this U-Penn website (https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/user/login?destination=node/627), search the “Questionnaires” for the “Work-Life” survey and take it. (This is optional but you might find it useful).

We look forward to exploring with you!

David and Jennifer

Hmmm Meetup Co-Organizers