We tend to extract too much identity from our jobs. That being said we’re spending between a fourth and a third of our lives caught up in work. Work is one of the great challenges of life. We struggle to maintain the priorities of God and family with work. Work, however, is often the vehicle God uses to provide for our families and fund the work in the Kingdom. For our purposes of this blog post, your job could be that of a CEO or a sales associate at a clothing store.
What’s Love Got To Do With It?
In a recent discussion with a friend, I realized that much of my life (and he agreed) was spent doing work I didn’t love. The reason was that I often start off as eager to get the job and the excitement of something new drove me forward. They often call this first part of the job the “honeymoon period” after relationships. In some ways, a job is like a relationship.
When you marry a spouse, you are making a choice, forever. However, what fueled that relationship, in the beginning, was likely the emotional aspect of a new relationship. The excitement of learning about a new person, their attributes and quirks. In the beginning, you look forward to seeing each other and can barely stay away. Then the emotion fades and reality sets in. Love is a choice. I think love – the act of choosing to serve someone else’s needs – is more beautiful than the rush of emotions that come with a new relationship.
Many jobs start off the same way as a relationship. It’s exciting, new and fresh. You’re meeting new people and usually, in the beginning, you’re excited about going to work the next day. However, that excitement usually wears off and you’re left with a job. The key point is that choosing to “love” your job is a choice and just like relationships you have to choose to serve others to the best of your ability.
This analogy breaks down a little bit here because jobs are not permanent commitments, they are temporary assignments. I think it’s actually a very important distinction. Not every job is suited for your talents and gifts. Some jobs will be wrong for you. Sometimes, the job function might be right, but the environment (or company culture) might be wrong. The key is to approach every job as an assignment as a kingdom driven leader or servant leader.
In the beginning you may have to take jobs to survive. However, if you respect each job as we’ve mentioned here you eventually will have the opportunity to choose your jobs. However, this is more difficult than it may sound. I will be the first to admit I don’t have it all figured out but I have found that the advice below is helpful toward the goal of finding a job you love.
The ultimate key to finding a job you love is knowing yourself. There are books that go into personality profiles and discovering your true self. I think knowing your behavior tendencies are great. However, the most life giving book on you is actually the Bible. Once you understand the depth of God’s love for you and allow Him to heal you of your past hurts, it can free you up.
When I was younger I was angry and driven to succeed to prove my worth. When I let God heal me in this area, yes I stopped running over others and damaging relationships. Yes, it still happens from time to time but I’m a completely different person with Christ than I am without Him. Without Christ I’d evaluate opportunities based on how valuable they would make me appear. Now I evaluate them based on how much impact will this have on the kingdom or my family.
Fully knowing yourself can be a lifelong journey, but it’s one that well worth it. When you know why you make certain decisions you can begin to think more clearly. If you’re already there then you can start finding a job based on a few of these questions.
7 Questions to ask To Find A Job You Love
Every “find the job you love” blog post, book or article all have this one question at their core, “what’s your passion?”. Because we all know that WHY we do something is much more powerful than the what. What makes discovering passions so hard is that we’re so busy that we never pause long enough to notice it until we’re discontent with our current situation. Here are some practical questions that can help you get closer.
- What bogs me down? – What task or thought or previous project do you have nightmares about? What thing have you done that was hard but not in a hard-challenging way but rather hard because it was tedious?
- What brings me energy? – The last time you woke up excited to do something, what was that?
- What am I proud of? –
- Where do I procrastinate? – If you’re working do you have a task that you typically put off till later? If you are in school or just graduated, what part of that did you dread doing?
- What is my talent(s)? – A talent doesn’t mean that you’re the best in the world at something, it just means that it comes easy to you. Talents are sometime hard to identify because we take them for granted.
- What are my skills? – A skill is something that is learned. A skill and talent don’t have to be the same thing. In addition, they don’t have to be
- What are my passions? – A good test for this is to ask this, “If I won the lottery what would I do with my life?” With this type of question you have to think outside of the things you’d buy or the causes you’d give to. It was this question that led me to writing more, because that’d be one of the things I’d do if I didn’t have to work. Another version of this question is “what are your interests?”
My friend, Kene Iloenyosi says that your sweet spot is where your talent, interests and passions overlap. That’s what these questions are trying to give you. Where do the answers of these intersect and what are areas that you can avoid.