Please quit doing work that you hate.
Frederick Buechner once said that ‘the place God calls you is the place where your deepest gladness and the world’s deepest hunger meet.’
Whether you’re a university student with your entire career in front of you, a 27 year-old husband and father of two wrestling with a job that pays the bills but feels incomplete, a mom busy chasing kids around the house but fostering hopes and dreams and passions bigger than her home, or the 53 year old asking whether they should take years of experience and the slow cook of ambition yet to be fulfilled and take a different direction with their last lap of work…we need you. All of us who know you need you to choose work that matters. We need you to pay attention to your story, believe in the man or woman God has made you to be, and take your spot in a world that is waiting for your work.
So you have an idea about the work that you’re supposed to be doing. If we were sitting down over coffee, here are the questions that I would ask you:
- How do you know this is work that you’re good at?
- How will your work benefit other people?
- If and when your work feels pointless and fruitless, will you love it enough to keep going?
And if you answer those questions and you still want to pursue what’s in your heart, here are some things to consider:
- Clarify your strengths (StrengthsFinder 2.0), your skills (synergistquiz.com), and your personality (Myers-Briggs, DISC, RightPath).
- Figure out who you want to help. The temptation is to try to help as many people as possible, either because we want to leave financial options open or because we think that bigger is better. Go for depth rather than breadth. Focus your photography business on capturing the story of Athens. Become an expert on writing business plans for non-profits. Create a way for families to buy and sell Matilda Jane clothes for little girls.
- Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?’ Do that.
- Grab a book like Jon Acuff’s Quitter or Start and make a plan to move forward.
There are people in our world who don’t have the opportunity to chose the kind of work they do. My guess is that you probably aren’t one of those people. Promise me that you’ll stop doing stuff you hate. We need you to do work and to love the work that you do.
What did I miss? Leave a comment or question below so we can keep this conversation going!