Most people work to make a living, but for some, work is a calling that drives us to both do more and be more where we serve. A job is only something listed on a resume’, but a calling is something that once we find it, we pursue it heartily, because it resonates in our soul. Some people are fortunate to have found a job within their calling. A calling is much more difficult to part ways with once you are assured of it.
Perhaps, if your job is only a job, you just don’t love it anymore and you might even be making each other miserable. So, if you are on the verge of breaking up with your job, these five questions might help you find your love for it again:
1. Do I have a meaningful purpose in my work? A purpose usually calls us to something bigger than ourselves and can provide lasting value beyond the work we do every day. A sense of meaningful purpose is what has driven me to remain at a chicken restaurant chain for over 30 years. While Chick-fil-A sells delicious food by friendly and caring people creating remarkable experiences, there is still a need to know that my work matters in meaningful and long-lasting ways. For me, it was the vision of our founder, Truett Cathy, to use the success of Chick-fil-A to impact lives that motivated me to give my best to contribute to that vision.
2. Do I have a mission in my work? What is my goal and where am I headed? Does my job help direct me to the career I ultimately desire and does it help me become a better person while I am on that path? A dear friend of mine is a house painter by trade, but he uses that opportunity to do so much more. First, he does not just paint houses. He is an artist. He chooses the right palette of colors and uses them to create interesting textures and hues. He pays attention to how the paint will look both in the daylight sun and at evening dusk. As an artist, he does not just paint, he is also a photographer and uses those gifts to photograph mission teams as they serve those in need. Secondly, my friend, the house painter, has the opportunity every day to encourage and influence those he serves in his business and that is exactly what he does. He doesn’t just paint, he leaves an impression everywhere he works.
3. Do I enjoy the people I work with daily? Do they enrich my life and help me to become a better person and a better member of the team? There is a quote that says, “We will be the same person 5 years from now as we are today except for the books that we read and the people we meet.” Perhaps, the job you have in this season serves you best simply because of the people you are meeting. If your job allows you to be surrounded by great leaders and co-workers that are making an imprint on your life and helping you grow, you may be in the right place. One of the greatest gifts I received over the 30 years I have spent with my company, has been the people with whom I have been associated. Their influence has been invaluable in my life.
4. Does the work resonate with my own core values? Am I proud of the work I do and the company or organization for with whom I work? The founder of my company often said, “Be careful with who you associate yourselves because you will become like them.” For me, the people I work with are what I love most about my job and they are the fulfillment of the core values of my company. My hope is to become more like the talented and caring people with whom I work. These people challenge me and care for me and I am a better person because I spend my days with them. They also create the brand of the organization and for us to love our work, we must be proud of that brand.
5. Can I reinvent the work I do to better fit my interests and my goals? What can I learn today to enhance my job to make it more interesting and boost my own performance? For years, I did similar work. With scope and scale and new learnings, it changed over time, but the basic function of my job and the expertise it required remained the same. Recently, I had the opportunity to envision a future need that leveraged some of my skills and experience to do work that has its roots in my expertise but is so much broader than the previous work. This new, strategic and forward thinking role has energized me and caused me to realize that any of us can reinvent ourselves and contribute differently. New challenges have led me to new goals and the opportunity to explore new subjects and achieve fresh dreams.
If we can answer these questions affirmatively, then we might just be poised to fall in love with our work all over again. Work, like other important passions in our life, has to be nurtured and cultivated or we are in danger of losing our love for it. Few people would ever claim their work to be the most important priority in life. However, it is the way we provide for ourselves and our families and contribute to our communities and the marketplace. With as much of our life that we spend working, it's a worthwhile mission to fall in love with it. Click To Tweet