In this Your Next Triumph post, my main aim is to help Christian workers assess if their career is on track. By answering one question, based on the following What If story, I think you’ll have a better sense of your current career situation.
Use your imagination. Imagine that you win a large lottery next week. Based on being a lottery winner, you’re in a financial position where you don’t have to work another single day in your life! You’d be getting an annual check . . . which would make you and your family very comfortable for the rest of your life.
- Question: If you were to win this lottery, would you continue to work? That is the ultimate career question I’d like you to ponder for a few minutes. Please answer either Yes or No.
Having answered the question above, your Career Situation can be narrowed further (See the next section below). My secondary aim in this post is to help you see what your Next Career Move could be. Once you’ve narrowly targeted your career situation, you can ‘press on towards your goal’ with greater confidence.
Your Career Situation
- The 3 Scenarios, if you answered Yes:
a – I’m very content with my current job (No change).
b – I’m content with the field I work in now, but would seek a better job with my current (Promotion) employer or a different one (Employer Change).
c – I’d definitely make a Career Change, in order to get a new position in a new field. I feel I would be able to find more meaningful or purposeful work in a different line of work.
- The 2 Scenarios, if you answered No:
- While I am fairly content with my job, I’d Retire Early and Rededicate myself to doing Volunteer (unpaid) work instead.
- I’ve worked enough! I’d really have no burning desire to do any work, paid or unpaid. [N.B. Your level of contentment could be at any level, high or low]
Which of these Career Scenarios would you place yourself?
- No Change (a)
- Promotion or Employer Change (b)
- Career Change (c)
- Retire Early and Rededicate (1)
- Cease Working (paid or unpaid) (2)
Press On (Paul, the book of Philippians)
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 12 – 14 NIV)
Your Next Move
So, lottery winner (smile), if you were honest in answering the Question posed above, you’ve narrowed the options you have to 2 (or 3) paths you can choose going forward.
- For the No Change and Cease Working paths, your next move is fairly simple.
- For the other three paths, however, you will have much more work to do before you can successfully make your next move.
Who am I? I’m a 53-year old career professional. I launched an educational ministry named Dare to Work (2009) to assist people, here in the Greensboro NC area, with various career and job hunting matters. The career/worklife posts on this blog are an extension of my career education ministry work.
Based on what I’ve learned and read in the last five years or so about worker satisfaction, relatively few people would select the No Change (a) path. If you did, Congratulations! The percent of workers who are ‘very content’ with their current job, who love or really like their job, is -I’d guess- no more than 15 – 20 %. Therefore, most workers, about 4 out of 5 workers, are prime candidates for a job or career change.
- To be clear, even if someone truly “loves” their job, the Cease Working or Retire Early Options might still be appealing to that man or woman. If you fall in this group, you simply feel that you’ve done enough full-time, paid work in your life. There’s no shame in that.
- If you answered Yes, but did not select the No Change option, what should you do to better your situation? In short, seek a Promotion (current employer), seek a better job for a different employer, or plan (and pursue) a Career Change.
Is a Career Change in your future?
Are you a Career Change candidate, based on this exercise? While this route will demand a major investment on your part, it CAN allow you to reap a great Return on your Investment. If you’ve chosen the right career to pursue, it could be the smartest move you ever made, as a Christian . . . other than choosing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior!
- Essential to making a successful career change is making sure you’re ‘moving your career ladder to the right wall’. Once you’ve done this, how you ‘climb the ladder‘ will come into play. Put another way, your Planning and Implementation actions will be critical to your success in any career change. If either is lacking, you may need to rely on those lottery winnings to survive! You might not achieve the career fulfillment and work life contentment you seek and deserve! So, please make sure you’ve got your ladder on the right wall . . . and are a Smart (not just fast) Climber! Regarding your implementation actions (being a Smart Climber), envision Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson; his poise, athletic abilities, and playing IQ are phenomenal! He’s a Christian too by the way.
- In closing, while the Lottery Question I raised assumed you’d be the recipient of a fat check every year, only the Retire Early and Cease Working routes (the two No Scenarios) rely on those winnings. All three Yes options (a, b, c) are fully valid without this fictitious financial windfall!
- So, if your initial answer was Yes, you have three different paths you can travel going forward. *No change, seek a better job, or embark on a career change.
- Even if your answer was No, however, assuming you’re not content to sit tight and do nothing, two options (b or c) should be looked at closely. *Seek a better job (perhaps with your current employer) or pursue a new line of work (career change).
Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way