“I dread Mondays.”
“Ugh, I don’t want to go to work.”
“I hate my job.”
These are just a few of the thoughts that regularly entered my mind during my last job. What had started off as a “dream job” quickly deteriorated into something I wanted no part of. Work had become a place where I looked for other work. I know I’m not alone in this.
Many of us who work in jobs we dislike tend to focus on the future—where we want to be next, what we would rather be doing, what we hope will one day make us happy. We treat every job as our destination when some jobs are just meant to pit stops. Just because we land in a position that doesn’t necessarily suit us, it doesn’t mean we’re in the wrong place.
Here are some truths I picked up from working in a job that pained me in more ways than one.
Although it felt like an eternity, my last job only lasted 7 months. This is not a very long time. Had I known from the beginning that this job would end so quickly, there are definitely things I would have done differently.
You never know when your current job will end, thus it’s important that we carry out God’s will in that place as best we can using the time and resources that we have because we never know when the opportunity will be gone.
Maybe God wants you to share the Gospel with a certain co-worker. Maybe He wants you to learn to a specific skill that you will take with you to your next job. Either way, how can any of us take advantage of the opportunities God has placed before us if all we are going to do is complain and hope for it to be over?
The Bible talks a lot about living with a sense of urgency. It clearly states that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). When that day comes, what kind of account will you give? Will you be ready?
Just because it’s bad doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.
There’s a reason why we call it “work.” Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall, work evolved from the fun task of naming animals to the less exciting one of pulling weeds. Like Adam, there may be times when we will also find ourselves working in menial jobs. It is often in these boring or tedious positions that He meets us and teaches us what we need to know.
Working in that office sucked the life out of me. There was nothing pleasant about sitting for 8 hours straight while I stared at a computer screen. Likewise, maybe you don’t like your work environment or the tasks that you’re assigned.
But if you always do what you like, how will you learn what it means to persevere? In that office, I learned to press on during difficult times. I learned to not quit whenever something became uninteresting. I learned to work harder and to trust in God more.
We often underestimate God’s knowledge of us. We tell Him what we want as opposed to asking Him what we need. God loves us too much to let us go on living in our own self-righteousness. He knows exactly what we need at the moment that we need it. Whether He is equipping you with a new skill or testing your faith, God can use this time to deepen your relationship with Him and to shape your character.
Creativity is born in dull places.
When Joseph was imprisoned, his circumstances didn’t stop him from working hard and interpreting the dreams of those around him. This eventually led to him being assigned the task of preparing Egypt for the famine.
Similarly, though my job was unfulfilling, I started to think of ways to make it more interesting. I used the mind that God gave me to generate new plans and ideas so that I might enjoy what I did and take pride in my work. This job that I hated pushed me to develop new ideas and to try new things, which in turn broadened my skill set.
Is there an idea you want to propose or a social committee you can start? Maybe this job is inspiring you to discover your God-given gifts and to cultivate these.
Your ways are not His ways.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
We are reminded time and time again that God knows best and that what He has in store for us is far greater than anything our own minds will ever conceive.
What I thought was my dream job turned out to be nothing more than a stepping stone. When I thought I had failed, yet again, God reminded me that He continues to provide and that His timing is perfect.
When we find ourselves in an undesirable situation, such as a job we don’t like, God will use these experiences for our good and for the good of His Kingdom.