I’m Looking for a Calling, Not Just a Job!
- Monday, November 24, 2008
Bill took a deep breath, and then told his wife he wanted to resign from his job as a retail regional manager. “Honey,” he said, “I’ve been working for this company for 15 years and I earn a good salary. We buy pretty much whatever we want. But…I just don’t think I can take the stress and long hours any more. I’ve realized that not only have I been sacrificing my health, but also time with you and the kids, for a job that I just don’t think is that important. Success isn’t what I thought it would be. I need to find out what God put me on earth to do.”
How about you? Do you feel trapped in a job that provides a paycheck—perhaps a large one—but little else? Do your gifts and the things you really care about have to be “put on a shelf” when you are at work? Does your work lack a sense of meaning and purpose? Have you reached a point in your life where you know that what you are doing is not enough? If so, God may be telling you that it is time to find your calling rather than settling for just another job.
If you feel like you need to do something different in your life, you may experience a restless energy propelling you to take action. Like many others, you may “get busy” doing what you know to do to find a new job. Perhaps you regularly scour Internet job postings, ask others for suggestions on what they think you should do for work, see what opportunities come your way, and maybe even take a job—or series of jobs—to see what fits.
This type of busyness, however, can leave people worse off than before. As career counselors and life calling coaches, we have seen that when people take random actions without a good game plan they often find themselves confused, disoriented and discouraged. So, what can you do if you believe you were created to do “something more” with your life? Here are steps that you can take to find the work you were created to do:
1) Recognize that you will need to take prayerful action. Finding your vocational calling is a partnership effort between you and God. Although God certainly is able to supernaturally guide you to a perfect job, He usually doesn’t choose to work that way. God will not do for you what He wants you to do for yourself. Your faith, trust, and maturity will deepen and grow as you risk taking action. The process of taking action steps shapes you into the person God needs for you to be for the mission He has chosen specifically for you.
2) Take a close look at your God-given design. Which skills come easily to you and bring you joy when you are using them? What interests you? Which needs in the world make you think, “I’d like to do something about that”? You are God’s handiwork—His work of art—“created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [you] to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Identifying your gifts and interests is a foundational part of discerning what God has created you to do with your life.
3) Enlarge your vision of how God could use your gifts in the world. Most people have dreams for their lives that are too small. Their goals for their lives are limited by a lack of vision, fear, and everyday concerns. What would you want to do with your life if success were guaranteed? God calls us to undertake tasks and roles in our lives that we cannot accomplish on our own so that we can see His power at work.
4) Get going! Once you have made a prayerful, reasoned decision about your career direction, write out a step-by-step action plan and get moving out of your comfort zone. Your life will not change until you begin making changes. Fear—of change, of the unknown, of failure—is the number one reason most people aren’t doing what God calls them to do. While fear is normal when you are contemplating making changes in your life, it is not an excuse for inaction. God never calls us to camp out indefinitely in our comfort zone.
Hebrews, chapter 12, has been called the “roll call of faith.” It chronicles those who have finished their journey on earth, completing the work for which God created them. They each discovered and lived their calling. God has created you to be a part of His sovereign plan on earth, as well. You have a role that no one else can fulfill. You can find work that is a calling, not just a job!
Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck are the authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life. They are National Certified Career Counselors and recognized experts in helping people identify their giftedness and find their purpose in life. Their websites, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com and www.ChurchJobsOnline.com, feature hundreds of job listings from churches, ministries, and Christian employers; a resume bank; career articles; and a free consultation session for individuals interested in career counseling/coaching and testing to discover work that fits their God-given design.
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