I've heard this same question again and again in different forms: How much career frustration should I take before saying, "Enough is enough!""
Some are a bit more outward. "I want to scream!"
As the great philosopher Popeye put it, "That's all I can stands... cause I canst stands no more!"
Here are some of the kinds of frustrations I hear. (Actually I often feel visceral sadness when hear really good people struggle this way...)
I feel like the only reason I'm still here is because of the paycheck
I went to school for this and now I wonder what I was thinking
They've pigeonholed me into a job and I can't do anything about it.
As a woman, I can't be part of the "old boys club."
I come home drained but I have no idea what else to do or where I'd go.
I realize these are what some may call "first world problems." They don't threaten life. You've got food and shelter and no crippling disease about to strike you. You're not about to get hit with a falling piano. I get that.
HOWEVER - they really are problems producing suffering.
You suffer because you're not thriving or alive with things that God wants to produce in and though you... Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness (actually kindness can be the first thing to go!)
So, how does one deal when one is suffering and not thriving in career?
Here's what the Bible invites us to do : "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
There's no getting around it as much as we may try. "ALL circumstances" includes ALL circumstances." God Himself invites us to give thanks.
Sidenote: NO good will comes from cussing your situation or existence . Unless you like things like depression and self-sabotage. Trust me on this!! Been there, done that... wrote the blog post!
What is GOOD about your situation RIGHT NOW?
The Bible has some really challenging things telling us that some of the best things that get created come out of suffering. Clearly, not sugar-coating here! In this world, suffering exists AND can produce good things.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4 ESV)
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
If God had ONLY put us in this world to have nothing but joy and fun, it's not the best world, is it?
However, God wants to produce something IN us... not just through us. Career and work can act as perfect training ground for that?
Might our best spiritual formation and growth be taking place on the job?
I used to think that pointing out what wasn't working was always a bad thing. The fact is... truth is truth. It's OK to take note of what's not a "good thing" and live in that real world.
That's a tough one, isn't it? I know that I set myself up to take on a role that is clearly not my place when someone asks me if I think they should, leave, change, quit or stick it out.
But, here's a couple exercises to try that don't avoid the question... but re-frame it in healthier and more Godly ways.
Either way, you may need courage, faith and willingness to do something
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