[by Sandy McIntosh] In your job, or career, or business, are you proud of your success? Are you stressed about not getting what you deserve? Is recognition too slow sometimes?
I once worked in a prestigious place where winners had window offices, and losers had cubicles. When I learned that a former Director’s office was vacant, I did my best lobbying and I got it, with my Director’s old desk. He was upgrading too.
So I had a large window office with a big wooden desk; and no I did not have emotional problems with that. It felt good.
Soon after, Stan came by my new office. He seemed impressed and asked “How did you get an office like this? You’re doing pretty good for a …” Stan didn’t finish his sentence, and I never learned my rank in the local religion.
Nearby was a cubicle with a hard-working man named Colin, in the same trade as me. Then and now, Colin makes more money than me, and travels to more interesting places, and he works with people I can’t even talk to. But his projects get all his attention, and he gains real rewards. Windows and big desks don’t interest him.
The Stress Management Society reports “While it’s an employer’s responsibility to create a stress-free work culture and environment, it’s up to each and every one of us to make sure …”
It’s up to us. That is one of the biggest secrets for career success.
In the field of vocational and safety training, where I work, success comes from attitude. What people know is important, but what they do with the knowledge makes winners and losers.
I work with people who are making changes in life and career, and two things stand out in them; they don’t look good when they struggle, and they must adjust their attitudes. The old way of thinking never works in a new life. And they must be ‘losers’ before they win. They must lose the attitude of pride and entitlement and maybe look like failures for a while.
Some do, and some don’t. It’s easy to predict who will make it, and who will fail.
Hire for attitude, train for skills; ‘We can teach you how to play basketball, but we can’t teach anyone how to be tall.’
The Bible tells Christians “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2, New Living Bible). The old way of thinking must go.
Some may feel trapped by a job and career, but often we feel perfectly happy where we are, when we should feel trapped. ‘The behavior and customs of this world’ are comfortable.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade is a consultant for debt and finance, and she really understands pressure from the world. She wrote:
“There are the people who get married early because that’s how it’s done in their family or in their culture. There are the people who head into careers they have little interest in because someone else thought it was a good choice. And there are the people who buy a home, taking on debt they’re not psychologically prepared to deal with, simply because ‘only losers rent.’”
I think she has it right. Pride and fear are the same. Looking good to others is a recipe for failure.
It’s also a poor choice for a religion. We may worship a god in this world who promises success, and then we fear because we don’t trust an idol we invented. A career without consideration for the real God is a heavy burden.
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) These are words from the great career consultant Jesus.
If you are a Christian, a whole battery of resources has been put into you, by the real God. Success is a sure thing, but failure remains close by. To achieve disappointment, just hold the wrong attitude and worship the success god of this world.
Or ‘let God transform you into a new person’ and do the great things you were made for.
More in the series:
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter One: Just Quit
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Two: Free the Slaves
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Three: Lose the Attitude
- So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Four: Dream On
- So You Hate Your Job: Fix the Problem