How to Love Your Job (or Leave It)

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One of the greatest blessings in life is to love your work, to be satisfied in your labor. When you invest the best hours of your day in a rewarding job, your energy level not only stays high throughout the day; it gets refilled by being at work. A miserable job, on the other hand, sucks the energy right out of you.

When assessing your current job–or any job you might consider in the future–I find it helpful to filter the position through four foundational alignments: passion, culture, challenge and compensation.

Alignment #1: Passion
By clearly identifying your God-given passions and finding jobs that align with them as closely as possible, you can put yourself in position for great job–and life–satisfaction. Think about what you love to do and ask God to help you find a way to make that your life work.

Alignment #2: Culture
The culture of your workplace plays a big role in how happy you are. Even if your passion is aligned with your particular job, your workplace may be unhealthy or even toxic. In such cases you can decide if you can manage your attitude or if you will work to make the culture better. If it’s impossible to become a positive culture builder or if you feel you need to make moral compromises to stay in your job, it’s time to get out.

Alignment #3: Challenge
You need to understand what level of challenge suits your personality best and find a job that challenges you appropriately. If you are under-challenged you may be bored. If you are dangerously over-challenged you may burn out. While it might seem that “appropriately challenged” would be the ideal environment, most of us do better if we are challenged just above that level and can feel a sense of accomplishment by rising to that challenge. Be honest with yourself about how your job challenges you and then consider how you might change the level if you are not in proper alignment.

Alignment #4: Compensation
It’s a beautiful thing when passion and pay align, allowing you to do something you love and be well paid. But very few of us experience the perfect balance between passion and pay. If you are in a job you love but the pay is too low, consider supplementing your income. If you are in a job with high pay that does not fulfill your passion, consider supplementing your passion by volunteering or pursuing a hobby. There’s no limit to the number of creative ways you can balance this equation in your life.

What adventure is God calling you to? Life is short. Don’t waste another minute ignoring God’s tap on your shoulder. Find a way to make your work one of the greatest blessings in your life.

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photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

Taken from Simplify by Bill Hybels. Copyright 2014. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc. All rights reserved. To order a copy of this book, go to Resources. To be eligible to win a free copy, please subscribe.