Struggling with Career Challenges? Head to Church.
We all know someone who changes jobs frequently.
These people always seem to hate their current job and are on the hunt for something better.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a better job – especially if your job is an ill fit.
However, many times, these people are dealing with career challenges because they have the wrong idea about work.
They allow professional storms to shake their ground and send them running in a different direction.
Instead, those who place their faith in God can remain unshakeable in the midst of these storms because they recognize their job does not define them – God does.
A Gallup report found:
- Millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs.
- Six in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities.
- Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workplace.
But job dissatisfaction and career challenges do not only affect millennials.
There are people in every age group who hate their job.
The problem seems to be that many people define success based on worldly standards.
According to J.T. O’Donnell, who studied why people hate their jobs for 15 years, it comes down to praise addiction. He writes, “We've been trained to seek out incentives like good grades, stickers, trophies, and yes, praise. We like to be liked. More importantly, we like to be respected. We want people to be impressed with us. It gives us a temporary feeling of happiness. The problem is we end up making career choices to impress other people so we can feel that fleeting rush of validation.”
Those feelings of validation do not last.
If that is your end goal, you will never be satisfied.
In the book Unshakable: Standing Strong When Things Go Wrong, Nelson Searcy asks, “What if you continue pursuing your vision of success only to get to the end of your life and realize that you were off target all along – that your pursuit was empty?”
Scripture makes it clear: success is not defined by how society views us.
Instead of futile efforts to gain this type of success, let’s look at some ways to address career challenges biblically.
Analyze Your Motives
Start by analyzing your motives.
Why are you really upset about your career?
Are you seeking accolades, a higher position, more money, power, or fame? For what purpose?
If you define success as achieving one of these on the list, you won’t ever be happy in your career because these are all fleeting.
As Searcy writes, “True success has a larger, lasting value.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
– Colossians 3:23
How to Define True Success
Did you know the Bible equates the word servant with success?
Therefore, consider whether or not you are using your career to serve others or only serve yourself.
Searcy explains, “Significance isn’t found in a salary, but in how well we bless other people.”
Similarly, consider whether or not you encourage others through your job.
A good way to define success is by how you make other people feel (here’s a hint: they should feel loved).
“The greatest among you will be your servant.
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and
those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
– Matthew 23:11-12
Searcy writes, “Success comes when you are more interested in doing God’s will and accomplishing his work than in doing things your own way. […] When you obey God by making his plan your motivation, and then act on that plan by consciously serving others and helping them grow spiritually, he will make you successful in everything you do.”
When you shift to an eternal perspective, your idea of success changes.
Barna reports, “Almost two-thirds of employed Christians (64%) agree on some level that it’s clear to them how their own work serves God or a higher purpose. This indicates Christians are prone to see spiritual value in any working context.”
The Work God Designed You For
Once you come to understand success is directly related to serving God and serving others, it is time to think about God’s plan for your career.
This begins by considering the unique gifts he has given you and the path he has put you on.
Searcy explains, “By taking the time to evaluate what skills, talents and abilities God gave you and what they are most suited for, you’ll be able to choose your career more effectively and avoid some of the painful storms that come from being on a path that doesn’t suit you.”
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
– Ephesians 2:10
How the Church Can Help You Overcome Career Challenges
You may wonder how going to church can help you overcome career challenges. There are several ways.
First, attending church is a great way to remember what is really important.
As you learn more about the Bible and try to become more like Jesus, your perspective regarding success will change.
Searcy writes, “When you view your life and purpose through the lens of service, the details of your career begin to fall into the proper perspective.”
Speaking of the lens of service, church also provides opportunities for you to serve others.
It is also a safe place to discover your God-given gifts and learn how to use them in church, work, and everyday life.
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