Your career is greater than your job description or even a series of jobs over time. While career definitely incorporates work, you’ll never really make sense of it by merely focusing on the work you do. We all have a career, and it must be cast in the context of the spirituality of work.
GETTING STARTED …
In this article, we’ll begin a remarkable conversation about career and life. We want to consider fundamentals, such as who you are, what you do, how you do things, where they are done — and maybe even, why you do what you do.
One thing is certain:
Work and life are connected. We can’t have one without the other.
Let’s begin our conversation.
UNDERSTANDING CAREER …
Ask most people about their career, and they’ll probably say something about their current job. Some might tell you a little about their work history, while others might even go so far as to reveal their goals and maybe even — the “dream job” they some day hope to have.
At some point, you might surprise them with a follow up question like, “Are you married?” or “Do you have any children?” or “What’s your favorite hobby?” These are easy enough questions, but at some point, some of them will begin to wonder, “What does that have to do with my career?”
While nearly everyone recognizes the impact that life situations can have on their work, most people don’t directly connect a career with anything other than the work they do and the education, training, and experience that was necessary to get that work and to keep it.
That’s a mistake.
THE REAL CAREER DISCUSSION …
Below is a series of statements. Each speaks directly to the concept of career.
Like you and your life, your career is vast and complex. We offer no explanation for any of these statements. At least, not now. We invite you just to read them and consider what they might be saying to you. Agree with some and disagree with others; and if any of these statements intrigues you, start following the “Vocation Works” blog.
We’ll explore the true nature of your career in the weeks ahead. We’ll highlight popular theories that explain what career is and how it happens. We’ll also examine the spirituality of work itself. And we’ll invite you to get to know yourself better too. And perhaps, before the conversation is over, you might even learn some ways to incorporate the Source of life into your career!
- God calls. We respond. Life happens.
- Life is a career. Career cannot happen apart from human life.
- Life and career begin with inspiration (Gn 2:7). The breath of God introduces us to His great plan for us (Jer 29:11).
- Career flows out of our response to God’s call (vocation).
- Who you are determines what you hear. God calls using our true identity (Rev 2:17). Get to know yourself and to know Him too (Mk 8:27).
- Career is best shaped by plans and prayer. They often occur in chaos, amidst happenstance and circumstance.
- Happenstance and circumstance are never random. God uses all these things for His good purpose. (Prov 16:3; 16:9; Rom 8:28)
- Though career is planned, work is essential. We are made in the image and likeness of God who works. We too must work. (Gn 1:26-27).
- The spirituality of work silences the chaos of career.
- The redemptive work of Jesus includes the work we do. Originally, work was a vital part of mankind’s relationship with God (Gn 2:15). Though tarnished by sin (Gn 3:17-18), it can be transformed from a “daily grind” to a blessing for all (Jn 19:1-2). We’ll tell you more later.