On Oct 1st I went to the local DMV to renew my driver’s license. When I stepped up to have my picture taken, I asked the gentleman at the window, “Having a good day so far?” To which he replied,
“I’ll have a good day at 5p,”
which I assumed was when he was getting off work. How sad!
This didn’t surprise me as I have read lots of material over the years supporting the fact that many people don’t like their jobs. This is not the first time I have encountered a person who was waiting to be happy and enjoy their work life.
Some are waiting for the end of the day, some are waiting for the end of the week, some are waiting for the start of their next vacation and some are waiting for retirement; all waiting to begin living and enjoying the life they have, but not enjoying it NOW!
I guess that’s why they have TGI Friday. But for those of us that truly enjoy what we do, we need to have a TGI Monday. It was Seth Godin who said, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.” Now that is something to think about.
Let’s move this conversation from a general one to a more specific one when it comes to those of you reading this who are in a leadership role at a church or in your work or business.
Do you really enjoy where the Lord has placed you and what he has given you to do, or are you among those who are waiting for 5p or 6p or whenever you get off work to be joyful and grateful? Are you waiting for, and living for your day or days off?
Do your current responsibilities as a leader tap into who God made you? To paraphrase Marcus Buckingham, Is the best of who you are reflected in what you spend most of your time doing? It is critical to make the best of your work the most of your work as much as possible. Are you truly and biblically content or are you a perennially unhappy camper in your leadership?
I love Ecclesiastes 5:19 in this regard, “ Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” (NIV) (Underlining is mine)
I review this verse twice a month. I believe our work is part of the wealth and possessions that the Lord entrusts us with. By his grace I want to:
- Accept my lot (my current circumstances that God has allowed)
- Enjoy what he provides (work is among his many gifts)
- Be happy in my work
Additionally I pray for true biblical contentment with:
1. Who I am
2. Where I am
3. What I’m doing
4. What God is doing
Are you stuck emotionally and vocationally? Do you feel you are in a rut and will be there for a long time?
Some of the leaders I coach have come to the conclusion that they are in the wrong role; a role that doesn't fit who they are in Christ, doesn’t utilizer to the fullest extent their gifts and doesn’t keep them motivated.
I strongly encourage them to renegotiate their job responsibilities if at all possible, as it will be a win/win for both the church/organization and them personally.
Now in any job you are not going to spend 100% of your time doing what you adore and love. That is unrealistic. If you are a people oriented person there are tasks, and if you are a task oriented person there are people. It was Charlie Brown who said, “Humanity I love, it's people I can’t stand.” Poor ole Charlie Brown.
Try to get your roles and responsibilities to the place where 70-80% of what you do is a great fit that will keep you grateful, energized and productive.
If you’ve been able to navigate a change in your roles and responsibilities, do share your experience in the comment section below so others can learn from you.