I’ve been thinking about my philosophy of work.
What do I believe about it? What role should it play in my life?
The idea of work has been changing. It’s no longer just 9-5, clock punching.
People are using alternative platforms like Craigslist, Fiverr, Youtube, and Facebook to build businesses and sell their products and services.
I hear people say that millennials are lazy, entitled, etc. Some of that generalization may be true – but I look around at the millennials around me and I only see the opposite.
Many people today are challenging the status quo of what work should be. They are asking the question that maybe they don’t need to work 80 hours a week – to pay for a house I can’t afford – for a family I never get to see.
Working hard is not wrong – it’s actually good – but our values can cause us to make work become everything. We value looking cool, driving a cool car, having a cool house, living in a cool neighborhood.
We come to believe that a career defines success. Work becomes your identity. Work is directly correlated to obtaining all of those cool things.
So we work, work, work.
Work is necessary because there are problems in the world that need awesome people like you to solve.
I’m realizing though, it’s important to have higher goals that you can see fulfilled within work.
You should do work which you love to do – work you are gifted and skilled for, and enjoy.
But this will not always be the reality. Sometimes you have to do work which isn’t satisfying or enjoyable or providing much value. This is exactly why it’s important to have higher goals and values, through every season.
Sit down and think about what you value – what your goals are. These are some of mine.
- Showing others’ Jesus love.
- Sharing about the Gospel.
- Serving people.
- Creating things that better others’ lives.
Are my values and goals things that will last?
Or are these values – a new car that will age, a house that will need maintenance, or toys that you’ll eventually get tired of?
Jesus told us to store up treasures in heaven, not to store up things on earth where things erode and fade.
I’ve personally been trying to shape my lifestyle and perspective of work around that idea.
I value relationship above mostly everything else. I value making an impact on someone’s life for their eternity. I value using my gifts over just accumulating stuff.
This means I’m reminding myself to bring the Kingdom into whatever work I’m doing.
Does this mean I’m unproductive or lazy or dependent? Absolutely not.
It simply means that I work hard when I’m working, but I make time to invest in others and grow personally and spiritually.
Instead of pouring myself into having enough money to afford a lifestyle that won’t satisfy (or last) I trying to choose to be balanced and live more simply.
Work is a way that we can meet people’s needs and make a real and profound difference.
I’m discovering that work is not the destination – it is a vehicle. A venue to exercise our gifts and talents and skills – and a place to live out the ultimate goal of loving people so that they can encounter Jesus.