I’ve recently had several conversations with friends and family who are considering a change of career or workplace. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all caught ourselves complaining about work, or considered other options at one point or another. Up until last school year I kept a completed Trader Joe’s application in my bag. (It is a magical place. Also I had a lot of trying days last year.) Twice today I was reminded of how important it is to be thankful for my current position. Neither source even knew I was paying attention, but it was exactly what I need to hear.
I don’t think I’ve ever worked in a job that I considered my calling or purpose. I’ve never had the rush of “this is what I was put on the earth to do” during work. I don’t even know if that’s a real thing. It might be some mythical emotion that movies have made seem real. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed my jobs, some more than others. I loathed working at a call center, but I loved being a student council sponsor and ESL teacher. Not every job is for every person. I have friends who would rather have a root canal than teach a class of teenagers but are wizards at customer service.
What I’m getting at is that we have to honor the position we’re in regardless of how we feel about it. We should always work diligently. Every experience that we have is preparing us for our next step. You might think the position you’re currently in has nothing to do with your future. But if you’re working in a group, you’re learning how to be a team player. If you’re working alone, you’re learning independence. Latch on to the skills and talents you can transfer to your next assignment. We don’t know when God is going to open the next door, but we need to be ready.
When I first started teaching ESL, it was hard. I didn’t have much experience and I often thought I was going to fail. But I showed up, and I did the work. I learned what worked for me and what worked for my students. Just as I was starting to feel that I was getting the hang of things, Michael got a job offer that moved us to San Antonio. I had to look for a new position and got hired as an ESL Specialist. What if I had quit teaching ESL when things seemed difficult? I wouldn’t have been ready for the position I’m in. I probably wouldn’t even have applied for this job.
Not every job is going to be our calling or fuel our passions. Some jobs are just assignments along the way to our calling, but we still have to do the work. Maybe you don’t like the job you’re currently in. Maybe it’s the work or maybe it’s the people at work. Be the invaluable light in your workplace. Be the person who is always positive and not easily shaken.My husband says, “Always try to leave a place better than it was when you got there.” Leave a legacy wherever you go. If all you do all day long is file papers, don’t sit and complain about how bored you are and the paper cuts you’ve endured. Create a filing system so impeccable and precise that the company continues to use it long after you’ve moved on. If your job is cleaning bathrooms but you have dreams of being a chef, then clean that bathroom until it is sparkling so you know exactly what to expect of your employees when you’re running a restaurant.
Lastly, (Prayer Warrior Tip) if there is someone at your workplace who grinds your gears. Don’t hope for their failure. Pray for their promotion. Pray them upward and onward and outward! Also, understand that this may be your opportunity to practice love and patience. I learned this a long time ago, what you sow is what you reap. I don’t want to sow seeds of failure into someone else’s life lest I reap them in my own. Instead while you are producing excellent work, pray for excellence in their life as well. I’ve found that’s the best way to deal with irritants. They can’t stop you from wishing them well and they can’t stop your prayers.
I hope you have a great rest of the week!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23