There’s something about August which tells me that because you’ve just snuck over the halfway mark of the year, you’ve come further enough to honestly ask yourself how you personally feel about your professional career.
I don’t know how your year has panned out so far, but mine has certainly come with a lot of change. Completely moving away from varsity life, I have since been figuring out my place in the world of work, slowly putting the pieces of a still very incomplete puzzle together. And what have I found? Right now I’ve been trying my hand at a couple of things, discovering how I handle different sorts of work and learning and growing more in my character as I go along.
Taking little leaps of faith towards where you hope to eventually be in the industry will involve sacrifice and great cost that will be scary at first. I can tell you from personal experience that being in this place of uncertainty is the best time to trust in God. It’s trusting in the fact that because He created you, He also knows you intimately and will lead you on a journey far greater than what you could ever map out on your own.
The job you do is indicative of who you are, but it should never define who you are. It takes wisdom to know the difference. Whether you’ve just embarked on life as a full-time professional or perhaps been at it for quite a few years already, there is always one question you must ask yourself that will reveal your true motives for why you’re doing it: Is my value as a person hinged on the approval or praise that I get or don’t get from others in my career? It’s a good question to ask and one that could diagnose the reason why you might be placing too much emphasis on work at the expense of your general wellbeing.
Here are just three areas of your life that you don’t want to see looking like this:
Relationships. You’re so caught up at the office that you’re working overtime most days in the week and battle to take your mind off work on the weekends which means that on the rare occasion that you are with friends and family, your attention is divided.
Health. You can’t seem to find the time to slot in any physical exercise, leaving you feeling sluggish and less productive at work. Your eating plan is erratic and when you do get to wolf something down (usually from a nearby fast food outlet), it’s lacking the essential minerals that your body needs. Your spiritual life is feeling a bit flat at the moment, where the mountain of work in front of you seems to have taken precedence over your commitment to God.
You. You’re so caught up in the chaos of your career that you’ve lost touch with other things that used to excite and stimulate you. You never feel free from work and find it hard to rest. It has consumed you to the point where you struggle to remember who you were when your life didn’t revolve around the pressure to perform in your profession.
Work as worship
There is a God who has wired you so uniquely for the purpose of showing the world the beautiful way He chose to make you. Do you believe this? The work you do will be worship to Him when your purpose is to be like a mirror pointing away from yourself so that you can reflect His beauty. But the flipside is also true. When work becomes the object of your worship, it’s like the same mirror is now facing you where it’s only you and your achievements that you see. Nothing else matters. Pretty sad, right?
Who will you worship through your work? Will it be yourself, what you do trying to validate who you are, or will it be the God who made you to be more than what you could ever hope to be? The decision is yours.
“When work is your identity, if you are successful it goes to your head, if you are a failure it goes to your heart.” (Timothy Keller)