I read this the other day in an article from CBS MoneyWatch . . .
“Of the country’s approximately 100 million full-time employees, 51 percent aren’t engaged at work – meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs, and thus they tend to do the bare minimum. Another 16 percent are ‘actively disengaged’ – they resent their jobs, tend to gripe to co-workers and drag down office morale as a result. These proverbial Debbie Downers are disgruntled about the direction of their companies, feel their needs aren’t being met at work and don’t fully understand what’s expected of them.”
These numbers tell me it’s safe to say people aren’t very happy at work. With that in mind, I wanted to share something from a book I read recently. In Garden City, John Mark Comer lays out 8 questions to ask when you’re thinking (or rethinking) career . . .
- What do you love? – All by itself, this question is sort of useless. It doesn’t matter what you love if you can’t make a living at it. But it’s a great starting point. For instance, an introvert will find it hard to love a sales job. A non-detail person won’t likely love writing computer code.
- What are you good at? (Oh, and bad at?) – If you’re good at something, you’ll probably like doing it every day. If you’re not good at it, you won’t. If you’re not good at what you do, find something else as soon as you can. Either way, it’s a win.
- What does your world need? – I like this question because it’s real. Lists of ‘hot careers’ are published all the time and there are slots for all kinds of skills in fast-growing industries. I also like the emphasis on your If you see your world as the globe, then think on that level. If your world is Lexington, Kentucky, then look for what Lexington needs.
- Does it make the world a more Garden-like place? – Comer says part of our role as Jesus-followers is to preserve and protect the world and make it a better place. We’ll be more fulfilled in jobs that add value to creation rather than subtract from it. When our jobs are part of ‘doing the right thing,’ both by the creation and by the people who inhabit it, we’ll have more peace and fulfillment. We feel good about ourselves when we do the right thing.
- What are the open doors in your life? – Look first at the people and opportunities you have access to. It’s not an accident that you are where you are. Be practical as you think about next steps. What’s available right now? All journeys begin with a first step.
- What is God blessing? – If you’ve tried a lot of different things, where do you sense momentum? Go where God is moving.
- What are people who know you saying? – You may think “I should be an entrepreneur!” “I’m a natural-born artist.” “I should be a worship leader.” Are those around you saying the same thing? Ask objective people who know you for their perceptions and input.
- What’s the Spirit stirring in your heart? – Maybe the most important question. Do you have an ‘inkling’? An unction? Something you gave up on but never forgot about? Is the Spirit of Jesus urging you to say ‘yes’ to something you’ve ignored or said ‘no’ to?
We spend more time at work than anywhere else. Choose wisely and play the long game.
Scripture: May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
Mentor Tip: As you get to know your guys, you will get a sense that some of them are unhappy in their work. Be careful. There’s lots you don’t know. Love, listen, tell them your story, ask questions and point them to the Lord and His word. Great mentors don’t give advice . . . they ask great questions.
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