Vocational identity achievement as a mediator of presence of calling and life satisfaction.
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The present study explores what mechanism might be responsible for the reported link between presence of a calling in one’s career and life satisfaction. It is proposed that vocational identity achievement acts as one important mediator of this relation and that the effects can be observed even when controlling for core self-evaluations (CSEs). The study used a short-term longitudinal design based on a sample of 269 German college students from different majors. The results confirmed the mediation model, with calling predicting vocational identity achievement 6 months later and identity serving as a stronger predictor of life satisfaction, all controlling for CSEs. However, contrary to previous research, presence of calling was not directly related to life satisfaction and even showed a negative relation when vocational identity achievement was controlled. The results are interpreted to suggest a multifaceted relation between calling and life satisfaction.