If you won the lottery, would you quit your job?
Your answer to this question depends on how you see your job. If you see yours as just a way to survive, then your answer will be something like, "Of course I would quit my job. Why work if I don't have to?"
But if you see your job as a calling, then money is not the reason you clock in every day. Purpose is.
The problem is, most of us are taught that a few lucky people love their jobs because it's what they were born to do. But the rest of us tolerate our jobs because we have to provide for our families.
But what if you could turn your current job, no matter what it is, into your calling?
In her book Grit, Angela Duckworth describes the hypothetical responses of three bricklayers who are asked, "What are you doing?"
"The first says, 'I am laying bricks.' The second says, 'I am building a church.' And the third says, 'I am building the house of God.' The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling."
It's not what you do that matters. What matters is your perspective.
Now, that may sound nice, but your daily task list isn't always that easy to connect to a deeper purpose. So here are four ways to find your calling within your 8-5.
- Do everything for God's glory.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whatever you do, do it for God's glory."
This is easier said than done, though. For many of us, a sense of "calling" is the last thing we feel when we clock in on Monday morning. But the truth is, even seemingly small tasks can glorify God if you do them with the right heart.
Pastor Tim Keller says it this way in his book, Every Good Endeavor:
"In Genesis, we see God as a gardener, and in the New Testament, we see him as a carpenter. No task is too small a vessel to hold the immense dignity of work given by God."
- Recreate your job description.
In a podcast episode of Hidden Brain called "Dream Jobs," they talk about something called "job crafting." Job crafting is when you begin "crafting the boundaries" of your job or rewriting your job description. According to the study, job crafting makes your work "more meaningful."
Here's an example of job crafting.
Let's say you are an administrative assistant for your company. But you thrive on conversation and relationships. You could add "social media manager" to your job description. Just don't let it prevent you from completing your other tasks. Some people feel like they can't do this. But most employers would be thrilled to see an employee taking such initiative.
- Use your job to sponsor your calling.
While it's important to find meaning in your work, what you're most passionate about may not be possible in your current position. You may be a writer or a worship leader, or maybe you're passionate about adoption or helping the poor.
Your job may not provide those opportunities, and few people are able to make a living from doing those things. But this is not an excuse to merely tolerate your job.
Instead, your job is how you sponsor your calling. It is a gift from God to provide for you while you pursue your calling on a part-time or volunteer basis.
- Work to serve others.
No matter what you do, if you have the perspective that your job is to serve other people, it can absolutely be your calling.
Here's another great quote from Tim Keller's book, Every Good Endeavor: "Our daily work can be a calling only if it is reconceived as God's assignment to serve others."
If you see your work as a way to help other people—whether you are helping them unclog their pipes, file their taxes or purchase a dependable family car—your work matters to God. And He has called you to do it for this season of life.
Kenneth Reid is a writer for the LightWorkers team.
LightWorkers' mission is to create engaging, uplifting and inspirational content that breaks through the clutter, building a community of sharing and igniting a movement in the real world that motivates people to celebrate and share the good all around them. Visit lightworkers.com.
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