How Do You View Your Current Work Situation?

Kevin Mahoney

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“If the point of work is to serve and exalt ourselves, then our work inevitably becomes less about the work and more about us. Our aggressiveness will eventually become abuse, our drive will become burnout, and our self-sufficiency will become self-loathing. But if the purpose of work is to serve and exalt beyond ourselves, then we actually have a better reason to deploy our talent, ambition, and entrepreneurial vigor –and we are more likely to be successful in the long run.” (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014, P. 68)


The above quote comes from a book that I am currently reading called Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. As the title alludes to, the book explores work from a spiritual perspective. I believe that there are solid principles in the book regardless of our own spiritual inclinations. What I have taken away, so far, is the need to change my view of my current work situation. I am inclined to think of employment as a transaction. I put in the effort, do what is required, and strive to do well because it benefits me financially, offers me some status, and helps me feel fulfilled. While none of those things are bad in and of themselves, if they become our sole reason for working, we will eventually become uninspired and burnt out.

On the other hand, if we can see our work as service and building something useful to others, then we will find energy and inspiration where others may not. In my opinion, some jobs are more easily seen in such light. Teachers, nurses and hospitality workers understand that the nature of their work is service but it really is no different for people working in the financial industry, sales or the arts. A financial planner is serving their customers by helping them make wise financial decisions. A sales person serves their customers by helping them to find the right car or equipment that will add quality to their lives. As well, an artist adds beauty to the world or addresses important issues for the betterment of others.

Do you think viewing all work from a service perspective is possible? Is it easy to see the work you do from a service perspective? Even if it is not traditionally thought of that way?

Keller, T., & Alsdorf, K. L. (2016). Every good endeavor: connecting your work to Gods work. New York: Penguin Books.
 

ang.necole11

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May 20, 2017
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Interesting post and I am like minded. Up until the past couple years, I spent my time working during the summer so I can pay for my tuition during the year. Now that I have a "career", I work full-time. I have been feeling stifled and stagnant. I tell myself everyday that there is got to be more to life than spending 30+ hours a week in a place that we would rather not be. It's alarming that the vast majority settle for this. That's why I have been furthering myself by writing a blog and studying counselling with the goal of becoming an independent life coach and spiritual advisor. Something that's fulfilling and allows me to do what I want.