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The Purposeful Work Podcast
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The Purposeful Work Podcast

Author: Dr. Bryan Dik

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The Purposeful Work Podcast is all about how to create a work-life that leverages your gifts and syncs with what matters most to you in life as a whole. The podcast explores questions about meaning in life; positive impact; the faith/work intersection; getting the most out of your strengths and forging a career that aligns with your sense of calling. Guests include the world’s leading academic scholars on meaning and purpose in work and life; top career counselors, coaches, and career center directors; organizational leaders working hard to create work environments that promote a deep sense of purpose; and everyday people finding ways to embody purposeful work in whatever they do. The host, Bryan Dik, Ph.D., is an award-winning vocational psychologist, professor, and entrepreneur. His latest book is Redeeming Work (
16 Episodes
We have a bonus episode! In this episode, Bryan is interviewed by Currey Blandford, host of the A Theology of Hustle podcast. In a far-ranging discussion, Bryan shares his own story of finding purpose in work, offers some details about jobZology and PathwayU, tells some of the backstories behind his new book Redeeming Work, and lays out some general principles for finding purpose and meaning in your career.Support the show (
Studio Artist Christy Nelson ( joins us in this episode.  Christy is featured in Chapter 8 of Bryan’s new book, “Redeeming Work: A Guide to Discovering God’s Calling for Your Career.” Christy shares her powerful story of redemption and renewal in this episode, offering details on how her art expresses themes of healing and transformation.  Christy and Bryan also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the arts community and ways that Christy integrates her faith within her creative work.Support the show (
2020 is a uniquely challenging year on so many levels.  The impact of the pandemic on how colleges can best provide career development support to students is the focus of this episode of the podcast, and we are delighted to welcome Jeremy Podany, CEO of the Career Leadership Collective (, to discuss this.  We also discuss results from the Career Leadership Collective’s newly published report on results from the National Alumni Career Mobility (NACM) survey.  Jeremy shares about these matters, as well as his own career journey, and the opportunities we have to support students, career changers, and job seekers in their quest to find or create purposeful work in a world that has changed dramatically in 2020.Support the show (
This episode’s guest is Dr. Michael Steger, Director of the Center for Purpose and Meaning at Colorado State University, and the world’s leading expert on social science research related to meaning in life. Learn more about how to join Dr. Steger for a Meaning360 retreat in Bali at Support the show (
This episode introduces the show, reveals why Dr. Bryan is passionate about this topic, describes the types of guests we will welcome to the podcast, and gives you a quick exercise to begin applying the show’s themes to your own life.Support the show (
In this episode, we hear from Dr. Evgenia Lysova, Director of the VU Center for Meaningful Work and Assistant Professor of Careers and Organizational Behavior at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  Evgenia discusses international research on work as a calling, the process of editing a special issue on calling in vocational psychology’s top journal, her research on callings within the Dutch video game industry, and experiencing meaningful work while balancing work and family.  Learn more about Dr. Lysova’s research here: the show (
Guests in this episode are longtime friends, collaborators, and eminent scholars on calling research.  Stuart Bunderson, PhD, is the Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics and Governance, and Director of the Bauer Leadership Center, at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.  Jeffery Thompson, PhD, is a professor at the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University.  Stuart and Jeff discuss their famous study of callings among zookeepers, the double-edged sword of pursuing a calling, a recent global conference they sponsored on calling research, and tips to make your work more meaningful.  To learn more about Stuart and Jeff, check out and the show (
This episode introduces listeners to a series of episodes that focus on the intersection of faith and work. Specifically, they explore Bryan’s new book, “Redeeming Work: A Guide to Discovering God’s Calling for Your Career.” Bryan discusses his purpose in writing this book, and why a book for Christians should be of interest to listeners who want more purpose in their work regardless of their faith perspective. He then reads the book’s introduction and teases the episode to follow. Support the show (
In this episode we hear from Nate Lake, who is featured in Chapter 2 of Bryan’s new book, “Redeeming Work: A Guide to Discovering God’s Calling for Your Career.”  When Bryan and Nate first met, Nate was a senior in college who was passionate about sports, communication studies, and his faith—and torn over whether a career in sports or a career in ministry, was the path for him. In this interview, Nate talks about his process of discerning his calling into sports communications and describes how he lives out his faith within that field today.Support the show (
This episode features Nick Dale, who is featured in Chapter 6 of Bryan’s new book, “Redeeming Work: A Guide to Discovering God’s Calling for Your Career.” Nick is living his calling as an HR Tech professional right now, but a few years back, he endured a challenging job search that taught him the power of proactivity.  In this interview, Nick and Bryan discuss how Nick’s job search experience conforms to what we know works in a job search. Nick also describes how he lives out his faith today within the world of human resources technology. Support the show (
The protests spurred on by the deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, have turned everyone’s attention to the serious racism pandemic in the U.S. and beyond.  In the career development world, we’ve known for a long time about systemic biases and oppression that harm racial and ethnic minorities in general and Black Americans in particular, but change has been slow and profound problems seem entrenched.  What are some things that those of us working in career development can do differently (or better) to support students or clients who are people of color?  How can we work on a broader structural level to ensure that purposeful work is not only for the privileged few, but can be experienced by everyone?  And how can people of faith, specifically, contribute? In this episode we welcome TaRita Johnson, MSW, director of the Career Center at Calvin University, to discuss racism, structural oppression, justice, and hope for a renewed world.Support the show (
Put yourself in the position of a college student right now. You’ve been investing a ton of your time, energy, and money into an education that you assumed would lead you to gainful employment. But then a pandemic hits, and everything you assumed about the job market is being tested - big time. How worried should you be? What should you be doing right now to prepare yourself for entry into this crazy world of work? In this episode, we welcome Dr. Briana Randall, Executive Director of the Career and Internship Center at the University of Washington, in Seattle. We discuss how the pandemic has changed and how career development services are provided. We dive into the question of what students need to be doing right now, during this pandemic, and in light of all the barriers and challenges they face, to prepare to launch their careers. And, we get Briana’s take on what makes her work purposeful and what any of us can do to experience meaning in what we do all day.Support the show (
What is your calling?  How did you figure this out?  For students, what experiences or tools or skills are most helpful in fostering wise discernment? Denise Terry joins us for this episode. Denise is the Director of the Center for Career Connections at Grace College, on the shores of Winona Lake in northern Indiana. In the interview, we learn a little about Denise’s own career journey, get her take on what makes work purposeful, and explore why learning to pivot in your career is so important during a pandemic.Support the show (
Career services have evolved over time to stay ahead of cultural and economic changes we’ve endured. How? And in what ways do the concerns of emerging adults, in terms of their career development, generalize to the challenges faced by people later in life, even into retirement?  Today we welcome Dale Austin, Associate Dean in the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career at Hope College in Holland, MI. We’ll learn a little about Dale’s four decades in career services, get his perspective on managing pandemic fatigue, on the possible current-day impact of the future of work, and on building toward a purposeful retirement.Support the show (
Imagine the career center at your university was called the Career Center for Life Calling. At Ashland University, this is the reality. What activity led to the rebranding in 2020 from “Career Services Center” to the “Career Center for Life Calling”? How have career services at Ashland changed? Karen Hagans has been instrumental in rethinking career services at Ashland. She is the director of the Career Center for Life Calling, a career coach in Ashland’s Dauch College of Business and Economics, and the developer and instructor of three Occupational Life Calling courses. In this episode, we’ll learn how career services have evolved at Ashland, what is involved in discerning and living a calling, and where career services are headed in the future within higher education.Support the show (
Helping people discover their personal sense of calling and mission is incredibly rewarding.  So is using applied research strategies to identify student drivers of engagement. These are some of Dr. Sam Jones’ primary callings within his career, and he accomplishes them in a variety of ways.  What does it look like to promote a sense of purpose for MBA students at the prestigious Wharton School? What tools and strategies have proven most effective at achieving this goal?  Sam is a director at the Wharton School who leads the technology vertical at MBA career services. He has placed more MBAs at big tech companies like Google and Amazon than any other career advisor in the country. Sam is also a consultant, a research fellow in the famed Positive Psychology Center at UPenn, and serves as a lecturer at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, of which he is also an alum. Sam’s graduate work focused on the psychology of work identity. He’s also a champion of work as a calling, which makes him a perfect guest for our podcast.Support the show (
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