Note to Self: Your Job is Not Responsible For Your Joy

A friend of mine recently asked me what I wanted to do with my life, career-wise. Most people my age, especially being a millennial, would have an elevator pitch ready to go. As I sat in the car, I attempted to piece together an answer that would suffice the vision God had given me – but I was just rambling.  This is a question I have been having trouble with as of late.

In my exhausting attempt to transition from marketing into the HR world, prepare myself for a Masters in Organizational Behavior (pray for me) and grappling with how to explain my “life’s work”, this question threw me for a loop.

I started to think about the “on the job” horror stories I’ve heard from friends and colleagues. I thought of my own. I began to pinpoint moments when our jobs were unbearable. When the work environments thrust heartache, anxiety, frustration, depression and other adverse ailments upon myself and others I cared about.

And then, I remembered the stories of hope people had shared with me. They were few and far between; maybe that’s why they stood out more. It wasn’t because the work environment was the best. It was the mindset required at the time that set that person up for a successful and positive outcome.

I didn’t have an articulate answer when the question was asked the first time. I do now.

So. “What do I want to do long-term, career-wise?”

The Mission

I want to help people find fulfillment in their current work life by implementing Christ-like principles into their daily routines as a means to increase their happiness, peace productivity, and purpose.

I figured the best way to commence my “life’s work” is to share my experiences through a blog.

I am doing this blog for three main reasons.

The Why

Most People Feel Their Jobs are Void of Joy

James 1:2-4  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

One. I really hate that most people in the United States workforce hate their jobs. I mean, it disrupts my spirit. We’re on this earth for a limited amount of time, yet we spend the majority of our days in an environment that fails to bring us joy. Joy doesn’t necessarily derive from receiving everything we desire.

The joy I’m referencing is the feeling you get from solving a difficult task, being acknowledged for your good deeds and hard work, receiving criticism that’s candid, constructive and meant to build your character rather than break your spirit. The joy that comes from an atmosphere of love, discipline, and sound rationale. Even as I write this, I realize that concept might be completely foreign to some. For many people, the reality of going to work is a joyless, mundane necessity of life. But it doesn’t have to be.

Reality Check: Your Job is Not Responsible For Your Joy

I used to think that it was the organization’s responsibility (if they were in good moral standing) to create environments where joy could manifest. I soon came to the conclusion that most companies don’t subscribe to that line of thinking. My frustration with management heightened. Irrational requests and expectations raised my stress levels. Snide comments, strategic backstabbing and questionable behavior surrounding me made me question my purpose for being in such a place.

And there it was. The question of the hour: what was my purpose for being in such a place? The more and more I prayed for God to get me out of a situation, the longer it persisted. Granted, I could have quit – but then I’d jeopardize my unemployment. Plus, with the stigma of being a “flighty millennial” hanging over my head, I couldn’t chance leaving a place and tarnishing my resume because I “didn’t like it”. But I didn’t know how to handle the discomfort, the disapproval, and sometimes, the disrespect that continued to come my way. As result, I started to pray and act differently.

The Resolution

Rather than ask God to “get rid of my problems”, I asked him to reveal to me how to handle the situations HIS way. Through this continuous prayer (which came in many forms depending on the severity of the circumstance), I began to see the Lord shifting things in my favor. This didn’t necessarily mean that I was getting what I wanted directly from the persons or situations that “wronged me”. I put that in quotations because there were some instances where I was in the wrong and I had to put my pride aside to admit it.  By doing this and altering my prayer requests to focus on things I could control, I started receiving my heart’s desires. Repentance, mindfulness and an intentional decision to take on Christ’s character allowed me to navigate and defend myself against the toxicity around me. The more I delved into the Bible and personal time with God, the more I edified my space and my spirit with things that reflected God’s lessons, commandments as well as His grace and mercy.

Through these practices, I was able to “get rid of my problems” because they were no longer problems for me. They became opportunities for growth, development, wisdom, understanding and a platform to show God’s love in unique ways on a daily basis. Operating this way ushered in unprecedented favor with my managers and colleagues created a more peaceful and collaborative work environment and gave me the fulfillment and joy I was seeking all along.

This is not some fru-fru way of saying your job from hell will magically turn into the job of your dreams if you love Jesus. This also doesn’t give anyone the green light to go around Bible-thumping sad coworkers over the head in an attempt to tell them to “pray their pain away”.

My Hope & Prayer

I’m saying, in my experience, by continually implementing Christ-like mannerisms and solutions to various complex circumstances, I was able to maintain my joy, sustain my sanity, increase my peace, strengthen my confidence (or as I like to say Godfidence) and through God’s grace – create an ambiance of joy that benefited me and those around me. I hope through sharing my past and present experiences and God-inspired lessons – you will be able to do the same.

To Find Joy –  Use God’s Gift

1 Peter 4:10-11 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Two. I want to improve my writing. Blogging is my way of doing so.  I’ve struggled with my self-deprecating opinion about my writing skills. Despite my moments of dread and uncertainty, God’s fervor towards my purpose has been more powerful than the negativity I spewed into my brain while attempting to start a draft. He’s shown his favor time and time again by allowing me to connect with people in profound ways through written expression and shared experiences. It’s how I got my first scholarship. My first induction into an underground poet’s society. My first viral blog. My current job.

Gifts become more valuable the more you integrate them into your everyday life. My writing is a gift from God. God’s gift comes with responsibility. That’s called provision. The more and more He’s pressed into me, the more frequent my urges are to write. This is my way of improving my desire to positively influence people through writing and honoring my calling at the same time.

Maintaining Joy Requires Reinforcement

Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Three. For the days that seem a little off and dreary. For the days that succumb to disappointment, doubt, and death of self-confidence. For the days that make the least amount of sense when I’m staring down God’s roadmap, I will look to these blogs as a reminder and reflection God’s goodness, vast wisdom and candid love for me. Hopefully, they will serve as your reminders too.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Until next time. Stand out. Do good.

-Alexzandria Chill

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