Next month marks the 1 year anniversary of my journey into full time blogging as well as the anniversary of the end of my 5 year run in corporate america. I spent 5 years working at a Fortune 500 brokerage firm. I worked in three different departments and held 5 different titles over those 5 years. When I started I walked in full of ambition and expectancy that a few years down the road I would be sitting pretty in my corner office. What I walked out with was a hope and trust in God that He would get me further than my ambition did.
Lately, I have been reminiscing about my old job(s) and thanking God that phase is over. I didn’t fully realize how much I didn’t like it, until I started doing something that I really do enjoy. At the time, I knew that I wasn’t walking in my life’s calling, but that it was more of a preparation phase. As is typical, I guess, I thought the preparation phase should have only taken a year or two, but apparently God’s timeline was a little longer – 5 years!
But also, I can now see that God was at work teaching, training, and guiding me through that challenging phase in my life. Trials and challenges are an inevitable part of life and whether we like it or not, they benefit us if we allow them to.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3
For much of that 5 year phase I didn’t like my job and there were points where I felt like I hated my job. As much as I wanted to pull a Jerry Maguire and just storm out of the office, I knew that wasn’t what God was wanting from me. I think He was testing me to see if I would remain faithful even when things weren’t very fun.
How I survived my “hate my job” phase
There were a few important lessons that I learned that I can now see were critical to my sanity!
I was thankful for what I had
I would thank God for my job on a daily basis. It wasn’t my dream-job by any means, but I was extremely grateful that I wasn’t standing in the unemployment line. I had a short stint of about 3 months when I couldn’t find a job and that is pretty terrible feeling to have. 1 Thes 5:18 says to give thanks in everything – let me tell you, it can be really difficult sometimes, but I am convinced that this was one of the primary keys that helped me stick it out.
I worked harder
When you hate your job, the tendency is to slack off and just do the bare minimum. Whether I was not good at my job or better than everyone around me, it didn’t matter – I was still called to work hard. Col 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” As I got a hold of that it really brought peace, because I knew that even if I had a tyrannical boss, if I worked hard for the Lord, things would work out for me. I didn’t have to get caught up in brown-nosing or jumping through hundreds of hoops to keep the boss in a good mood. I just needed to work hard and trust God to take care of the rest.
This is pretty obvious, but it should still be mentioned. During that phase I often found myself meditating and praying Psalm 37. It talks a lot about waiting on the Lord and how He sustains the righteous.
I prayed that He would give me favor with my bosses and co-workers. He did. I prayed that He would give me grace to stick it out to the end. He did. I prayed that he would lead me to a job that I loved. He did.
I was active
I didn’t really know if the whole make money with a blog thing was possible, but I started a blogging anyway. Had I not been putting some action to my faith (James 2:20) by starting a blog, I would probably still be in a job that I hated somewhere. I was also actively scanning job listings, tweaking my resume, and taking classes to make myself a more valuable asset to an employer.
If you are in a job you hate, I am sorry. It’s not fun at all and I know how difficult it can be, but don’t be discouraged! You are not stuck, there is a way out, and there is something better on the horizon. I don’t think I have a monopoly on things you should do when you hate your job, but, I do think doing the four things listed above is a great place to start. Pray and read Psalm 37 – you will feel better.
How did you (or do you) survive your “hate your job” phase?