Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad Job?

Do you ever feel like Dilbert above? Like you have the worst job possible? I know I sure have. I even wrote about it in Bleedership, Biblical First-Aid for Leaders.

So how do you change that? As I see it, these are your options:

1. You can change jobs
2. You can "grin and bear it" but still deep down hate it
3. You can complain about it and do nothing
4. You can quit and not work
5. You can decide to change your attitude

Number 1 could bring positive change. In fact, God might be showing you that He has something else for you.

It could be argued that number 2 is also a positive option. On one hand it is positive; however, in your heart you still hate your job. The Bible is very clear that "the heart is the wellspring of life." In other words, what is in your heart will eventually come out.

Number 3 is not a good option. In my mind, it shouldn't even be an option, yet this is the way most people would react in this situation. Please make a commitment to yourself that you will not be in this category.

Number 4 could be an option...for about .00000001% of the population. For the rest of us, we can cross this off our list.

Number 5 is obviously the one that gets my vote. Just like I wrote about a couple days ago in "Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar," changing your attitude and seeing your job as a way to impact and serve others can change everything. All of a sudden, your work is not just about work but rather it is about people...people you can impact and make a difference for.

So which option will you choose?


Marcus Goodyear said...

Good post, Jim. I'm wondering what it looks like to change your attitude though. Does that mean looking for where you have the power to affect your workplace and finding contentment in that?

Jim Lange said...

Good question Marcus! Yes, there certainly is tremendous value and contentment in finding the source of our true Christ. The attitude I mentioned really deals with how one decides to use that power. If someone realizes that they can be a positive influence through their workplace, simply by the way they approach their job...doing things differently (with joy or with peace for example), that can transform them and their attitude as well as lives around them.

Talkin' Texan said...

The same idea can not only improve your job situation, but it can make all the difference in the world in a marriage, a parent child relationship, church,... I could go on and on. Always before we pray "God fix thee," we should pray "God fix me!"

Real Live Preacher said...

Jim, nice post. I'm featuring it at the High Calling. It goes live on Monday.

You can't cover every scenario. I think your 1st solution covers what to do when the 5th solution isn't working. There are, of course, toxic places that will not appreciate your attempts to have a good attitude. They take everything you can give, watch you try and make allowances, then ask for more and more until they kill you.

That's when option 1 comes into play.

Jim Lange said...

Talkin' Texan, Amen to what you said. You are absolutely right--this can apply to any area of our life! Thanks for your input!

Real Live Preacher...also right on. Thanks for the encouragement!

David Rupert said...


Right now I may have a bad job, but I have a job. And for that I am thankful.


Jim Lange said...

You are right on with that Davdid! I have often told people, "If you aren't thankful for your job, then quit." Faced with that propspect, they typically become more thankful, especially in today's world. Thanks for checking in!

Andy C said...

I've tried 1,2,4 and 5. 5 is really the only one that works. 1-4 are running away from something, and that usually doesn't work. #5 is running to something, and that is where the answer lies.

Jim Lange said...

Right on Andy--you are absolutely right! Thanks for your input and encouragement!

Rick Thrasher said...

1st corollary to #5: ask what God is doing in you, through your circumstances. Sometimes He uses our circumstances to put pressure on us to scrape away some sin. Scripture uses the analogy of refining gold: the goldsmith turns up the heat to bring out the impurities so he can remove them. Just as God sometimes "turns up the heat" on us. When we use options 1-4, we can lose out on the lessons God is trying to teach us. I find that when I try to change circumstances to get away from a bad situation, I find some of the same problems in the new circumstance. After all, wherever I go, there I am. Sin and all.

2nd corollary to #5: Ask God for eyes to see what He is doing in those around you. He is actively working in every person with whom you interact, to bring them to Himself or to deepen their walk with Him. Ask God how you can come alongside what He is already doing, how you can partner with Him in serving and loving these people. God does not promise that following Him will be easy or fun, but it is the most important thing we will ever do.

Jim Lange said...

Very well said Rick! Thanks for checking in!

Lukewarm said...

I had a similar issue but more towards my boss. In the end, God was showing my sinful nature of disobedience to him. By disobeying my boss and rebelling against him in certain aspects which I felt were wrong, God revealed that I had to obey all human authority as it comes directly from Him.

Jim Lange said...

Lukewarm, you are absolutely correct. Any authority which you are under has been placed there by God. I agree that we must obey those in authority; however, if they were asking me to do something that was not morally sound I would stand my ground. I experienced this with the boss I wrote about in "Bleedership." I needed to listen to him even though I did not agree with his tactics. I also challenged him on some things and refused to do some unethical things which was asked of me. He was furious, but the Lord protected me through that.

Thanks for chicking in!

Christ's Ambassador said...

I am thinking here, should this not be an opportunity for one to apply the principles of the HighCalling team here? We were once taught that God is the real boss. So I wonder, should we not, for the sake of Christ, look for the purpose of God in giving us that job in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. i'm going through some crises in my work right now and through out the week i had thought about just quitting, but now i plan on first be thankful to God for the job and the opportunities it has brought my way and secondly change my attitude towards it.(God help me!!!).

Jim Lange said...

Great point Christ's Ambassador! You are absolutely right. We are where we are for a reason. That is the primary point in all this. Our work has a purpose and not just to provide for us financially. In fact, work is worship to the Lord--both work and worship come from the same hebrew word "avad."

Anonymous, thank you for your encouraging note. I have found that when things are really tough at work, that is a great time for you to impact others. You might just find others looking at you and saying, "Why isn't he upset or down?" That is a great opportunity to minister to them. I pray you will find God's purpose in your work.