Would you be willing to take a salary of $1,000,000 per year, every year, until the age of 67, hypothetically, of course. You must work 50 hours per week with only 2 weeks off for vacation per year.
Does this sound like a commitment that you could easily make?
I can hear you shouting…. “Yes! Are you kidding, of course – Who wouldn’t? Sign me up!”
Wait—There’s just one catch–
Imagine a career that you absolutely, positively NEVER would want to do. It doesn’t fit your talents, your strengths; although, it may be a perfect match for someone else. To add insult to injury, imagine that it compromises your values, even your priorities. In other words, this career meets your financial needs in exchange for your passions, your heart’s calling.
You must absolutely dread it for $1,000,000 per year! What career would this be FOR YOU? (Note: There is nothing wrong with this career choice; however, it feels wrong for you.)
Would you still sign up? Why or why not?
Interestingly, many people have already signed up, and the salaries are far less.
According to the Society for Human Resource Professionals, “8 out of 10 employees are dissatisfied with their jobs; they are overworked, stressed out, fed up — and eager to quit their jobs once the economy picks up.” They are experiencing career burnout, “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” Burnout is often found when the combination of an employee’s giftedness overshadows the level of job expectation for a repetitive period of time.
This leaves one to question whether there is a difference between a job and a calling? The answer is… Yes and No. A Calling is the internal prompting of the Holy Spirit to surrender your talents, gifts, abilities through physical or mental effort that another may benefit.
A job can be your calling or it can finance it.
The problem exists when your job that is financing your calling consumes your life that you can’t begin to focus on your calling. If your job is your calling, then you should experience great fulfillment in knowing that your giftedness is making life better for others. However, a calling should never compromise your priorities as it aligns with God‘s word. If your “calling” steals your time from God and family, then it’s not God’s plan; it’s yours. In addition, God has purposed different callings for different seasons in your life– “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1
The good news is that as we walk daily with Christ, He takes responsibility for our destination, our careers. Wherever we are, there He is. If He wants us somewhere other than here, He will move us there. In the process, He is preparing us in the jobs where we currently work. To illustrate this point well, let us remember Joseph, the future prince of Egypt. He began his training betrayed by his family, sold as a slave, imprisoned for righteousness. In each situation, he sought to serve others with his talents. Even when he had the position to hurt those who caused his grief, he still chose to respond in love– “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” —Genesis 50:20.
Through his story, we learn that wherever we are, God is in control. If He hasn’t moved us, He’s growing us. Rather than abandon what God has started, we need to find creative ways to exercise our talents in the soil where He has planted us. Ultimately, the goal is to share our talents wherever God leads us, and in doing so, we will hear the Lord speak, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” —Matthew 25:23