I’ve been blessed to work with several different businesses and organizations throughout my career. If you asked my mom, I ‘job-hop’ too much for her tastes and if you glanced my resume, my journey appears haphazard. However, upon further study, one might see what I’ve realized: it all worked together for my good. Every title, skill, colleague, mentor, mentee, added up to prepare and lead me to this purpose-driven path.
As workers/employees/entrepreneurs, we go into a job with goals. We want to make an excellent product or deliver great service. We want to make more money. We want to make a difference. How often do we stop and ask, ‘what does God want me to do?’
A long time ago, I had reached a point of dissatisfaction in a position. I was ready to quit ASAP. But upon spending some time reflecting and meditating, it dawned on me, the root of the problem was my goals did not align with God’s goals. God hadn’t put me in that place so that I could make a certain dollar amount or write the best press releases and social media posts. That’s what we measure—our income and output. He measures different things. Are we obeying His instructions? How many people do we show love to? How many colleagues witness His mercy and grace reflected in us? Did our discernment and wisdom save a person or organization from making a disastrous decision? Who saw a light in us and decided to draw a little closer? Did someone drop a task that we didn’t want in our lap, but we did it anyway without realizing that very experience is preparation for God’s next big thing?
We spend so much time working. Most Americans work more than 40 hours per week. You just might spend more time with coworkers than your family. And it’s likely the most time you spend around other people. People who are desperate, depressed, downtrodden, and disappointed. Does your presence help or hurt them? The workplace is a prime place to strengthen your faith, and God gives you the tools to fight off fear—fear of failure, rejection, displacement, and so much more.
I’m sure there were days Nehemiah thought, all I need to do is be the best cupbearer I can be and get through this day. This high-anxiety role came with much authority and income. One day that all changed as he felt compelled to leave his job. And when he felt burdened to take on a purposeful project back home, he realized he was meant for more than that. But had he not been in that position, he couldn’t have had access to the King (and his provisions) to return home and do the Lord’s work.
Don’t look at your job as separate from your God-given purpose. I attended a leadership luncheon once, and a senior level executive at one of the largest global corporations said something that has stuck with me. She said, “I’m not here just to sell XYZ; this is my ministry.” She then went on to explain how she connected the dots between her career and Christian principles. And it wasn’t about walking through the hallways bible-thumping.
The right job isn’t about the perfect place, position, or people to work alongside. It’s about the right purpose behind your actions and decisions. When it seems like your job isn’t going right, maybe you’re focused on the wrong aspect of your role. God has a different plan in mind, and you just might be right on track.