Many in the workplace today have boring or unfulfilling jobs. I hear this from friends and family members, and those I sit with as spiritual director or mentor. When a job is either missing, and one is left unemployed, or work is simply ungratifying, either condition can lead a person into a state of sadness or depression. This is difficult to handle and can often lead to lethargy or despondency about the way forward. And, for those around such a person, it can be strenuous to know how best to encourage or uplift them.
Satisfaction in one’s work is the goal for all employers and employees. Thankfully, my own personal track record has been on the plus side of gratification for more than three decades of service in several roles but only in a small handful of organizations. Having a deep sense of satisfaction that one’s work matters to God and to others is life giving and sustaining. When that fulfillment is deeply planted in one’s heart and mind, it’s contagious to all who surround them.
What is your level of satisfaction with your work today? If you consider the number “0” as neutral, and -5 to be deeply dissatisfied, with +5 to be deeply satisfied, where are you on that continuum from -5 to +5? Be honest with yourself. Be genuine with God. Can you also be authentic toward a friend or family member?
Sharing your level of satisfaction with your work can lead you out of a funk of disappointment and into a flurry of delight. Identifying the places where your satisfaction could be enhanced is a starting point to deeper fulfillment and gratification. Looking around at your work and determining places where you can be more focused, effective, creative, and yes, even more satisfied can bring you into setting objectives for yourself that will lead you forward. Sometimes just taking an hour to de-clutter your desk or revisit your to do list or try a new skill is a great step toward that goal.
No matter what the external conditions may be, what makes work most satisfying is when you know that God is walking with you, is there beside you and working from within you, and longs to be your constantly noticed companion in all aspects of your work. Can you see how God is coming to your aid in a time of testing or challenge at work? Are you calling upon God’s wisdom and strength to be the center of your decision making? Do you see first hand how God has created you, gifted you, called you and empowered you to serve him in your workplace even today?
The greatest, highest and deepest form of satisfaction with our work comes from God, not our employer. Hearing God whisper our name, lavish love upon us, and delight in us is the best of all satisfaction. Listen upward and inward today to the voice of the Master and may you hear with clarity God’s “well done, good and faithful steward.” Sharing in the Master’s happiness is when our work outward toward others matters the most!