The Secret to Keeping Your Job in Perspective

You are more than your career.

I recently spoke and administered a workshop at an excellent business conference in Denver, Colorado, where I had my attendees take a “purpose test” that I created.

This “purpose test” is, I’m sure, much less elaborate or exhaustive as similar tests you have seen or possibly even taken, but I believe its simplicity is one thing that makes it so unique and effective.

I receive tremendous feedback on this test, and one of the comments I hear over and over is how people had never viewed their job/career in the light that that my “purpose test” reveals.

I believe our job/career is a tool we use to drive closer to the fulfillment of our purpose, but it is not our purpose. Our purpose is much deeper than our career, business, or current job. To say it another way, jobs, careers, businesses, organizations, etc. are often the vehicles that takes us through our journey to purpose fulfillment.

I feel we have made a terrible mistake making our jobs synonymous with our purpose, or worse, making them our purpose.

If we view our job, business, career, etc. as our purpose, we will never be paid enough, appreciated enough, promoted enough (you get the picture) because in a sense, we have put a value on our lives based on our job. This is a startling thought!

For if we put our blood, sweat, and tears into our work for the motivation of say, salary, it will always leave us empty.

Think about it for a moment; if we stay there, our salary becomes a limited, and seemingly short-sided evaluation of our worth. That is really aiming low.

What are the outward symptoms of this wrong thinking?

We entertain thoughts like this, “I work hard all year…for what? To make my boss look good, and make the company/organization rich? They don’t pay me enough and if I left, they would realize how much I do! ” Ouch.

This, my friends, is a common axiom of belief in our workforce today. If this were actually true for people that believe this, I am honestly impressed at people’s ability and dedication to show up for work day after day!

This is not a corporate or organization dilemma to fix; it is instead, what I call an inside job….right between our ears. If we are miserable and entertaining wrong thinking, we are most likely experiencing the consequences of not having a clear understanding of our purpose.

Now contrast this with someone whose career is a vehicle for accomplishing a deeper impact or purpose. For example, someone who wishes to save lives may realize for them, the best way to accomplish this is through the study of medicine, so they go to school and become a doctor.

Or someone whose heart burns to stop child abuse may see a great vehicle to accomplish this is by becoming a social worker.

I feel people that have a solid understanding of their purpose and a right relationship with their career in relation to their purpose, are the “cream of the crop” in our workforce.

A pastor in the inner city may work far harder than someone who makes 10 times more money, but his/her motivation and drive does not come from money, but from the purpose God has placed deep inside.

As you line up your vocation and position with God’s purpose, it is now a tool that enables you to fulfill the purpose God has given you for your life.

Are you feeling underpaid and under appreciated? This may be a time to remind yourself what role your job is meant to play in your life.

Your work is not your fulfillment, it is instead a tool that leads to the real fulfillment, your God given purpose.

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