Words like calling, vocation, career and job get used sometimes interchangeably though they can mean different things. Hugh Whelchel organizes them in this way in How Then Should We Work?
We are first called “to follow Jesus out of darkness into light.” This call to faith in Christ is the “primary calling.”
Then come four “secondary callings.” First, to be “a part of our human family: brother, sister, son, daughter, father or mother.” Second, “to the church.” Third, “to serve God’s purposes in the world through civic, social, political, domestic and ecclesiastical roles.” Finally, “to vocational work.”
Whelchel says this fourth secondary calling, the vocational calling, “is usually stable and permanent over a lifetime” and is “based on giftedness, interests, passions, and human need, which are all easy to identify.” A caree, in turn, “should be based on the opportunities for service which are presented to a believer enabling him or her to fulfill their vocational calling.” Finally, “finding the right occupation [i.e., job] at any one time is a matter of God’s specific leadership, guidance and provision.”