In 2014 the Gallup organization confirmed a real epidemic in America. 68.5% of working Americans reported to either hate their jobs or to be disengaged from their work and basically just enduring it.
Consider this, on average we spend 92,120 hours over the course of a lifetime at work (35% of our waking life)! Since one third of our life is spent sleeping, we’d better discover real happiness at work or else we are in for miserable lives. In a recent talk Igave, I mentioned a handful of paradigm shifts and practical suggestions of how to find greater happiness at work. Here are just three to start.
Don’t compartmentalize community out of your career. Coworker relationships are strange. Can I just say that? Or at least they can be strange, they aren’t friendships that you initially choose. You don’t necessarily have chemistry or common ground other than your job with your coworkers. It can get awkward when you are working on projects together and touchy situations occur. Some people deal with this tension by compartmentalizing: work is work, life is life, and my friendships happen in the life part. It’s safer. But that is a huge mistake! The Society of Human Resource Management has proven in study after study, authentic friendship at work is one of the highest indicators of job satisfaction period. If you want to be happy at work, build real friendships with your coworkers. We cannot compartmentalize community out of our careers.
Establish a rhythm of rest. Back to the beginning the book of Genesis. God who loves work, works Himself, designed human beings out of love for fulfilling work also rested Himself. The divine design of happiness at work requires a rhythm of rest. If you are in a season of where you have lost your rhythm of rest or you have never developed one as a working adult, it will be impossible for you to experience the happiness that God intends for you at work. Build habits of replenishment and fun into every single week of your life. Turn off your email, don’t answer the phone, sneak a breakfast date in with your spouse, and lie around with the kids. Whatever it takes. Work and rest work and rest work and rest work and rest in consistent rhythm, that is the only way to sustain happiness over the long haul.
Let God into your work. The only thing that keeps God out of our work is if we don’t invite him there. Pray throughout the day. Let him lead you in your conversations in your planning, in your budgeting, in your cleaning. Give him your work problems. Ask him to help with the sale. Don’t separate out the secular and the sacred. Every breath you breathe and project you do and every hour you spend at work is sacred. It is the Lord’s and you were put there to live out His purposes to serve in that environment.
God designed you out of love to work. His will is that you experience happiness in your work. His gift is to allow your work to be a divine calling. Through your job you fulfill his provision and service to the world He loves. You are called not to just survive your job, not to find salvation in your work, but to be fully satisfied every single day in you labor in Him.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord
If you’d like the full talk you can listen to it here. Blessings!
(Featured Image Credit: http://www.howtofindajobin10days.com/how-to-gauge-your-happiness-at-work/)