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I cried and cried and cried about my job for what seems like months.
I Facebook chatted with my friend who had just started her entry level job and hated hers too.
Are all 20-somethings straight out of college this unhappy? I asked myself that question every day.
I desperately searched for purpose. I felt useless, like I was just taking up space on the planet and not making one ounce of a difference.
I had gone from excelling in high school then in college to being at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom.
I’ve never not had to work for things – I worked my tail off in high school and in college to succeed. The difference? In high school and college, when I worked for something, it generally paid off and I was rewarded with a status or reward or grade or just a “well done, you’re awesome.” It was rare to bust my tail and not get something quickly in return.
Starting that first job out of college, you can expect to work and work and work and a there might not be a soul who notices.
Chances are, you’ll feel like you might stay at the bottom forever and life will never pick up – I promise that’s not true.
You may not even be doing anything close to what you went to school for or what you thought you’d be doing. Most people right out of college don’t hop right into their dream job.
I lived at home to save money and was commuting an hour both ways every morning at 4 a.m. I was waking up at 3 a.m. I mostly slept and tried to see friends and hang out with my parents when I wasn’t exhausted.
I can’t express how unhappy I was. I was desperately searching for a new job.
I cried out to God over and over and was so confused as to why He kept me there and let me be miserable.
I was so focused on my unhappiness that I lost my focus on His joy.
Doesn’t that happen a lot though? We start dwelling on something we are unhappy with instead of looking around and taking a big wiff of all 200 roses around us.Why do we have so many blessings but choose to look at the one thing we see as a negative?
I remember trying so hard to find meaning and purpose and I tried to do a good job at work so that maybe I would love it more.
I’m not sure what day it happened or what happened in me, but my attitude and my heart began to change.
We are called to work, no matter what that work is, as if we are working for God, not man. We can’t work to find pleasure and joy that only God can give us because we will never succeed.
When I started seeing each day at work as a gift instead of a burden, things started changing. I started viewing every little conversation differently. I was there for a reason, and sometimes that reason was just to put a smile on someone’s face.
I was the low man on the totem pole, but that humbled me so much. I was working hard every day, but that didn’t mean I was climbing. The working world is not a world of instant gratification, and in a world where Instagram reigns, that’s hard for us to get used to.
I talk to people every single day who are struggling at their first job or even their second job out of college. Going from a life where every day feels like a party to a life where the party has to stop to get work done is such a rude awakening, and I know how rude it is.
There are people who have been working for 30 years who still may not be exactly where they want to be or where they thought they would be, but working is not what this life is about.
I started focusing on my life outside of work – my friends and family, people in general, my community, the city I was placed in, and more importantly my relationship with God. I got plugged in at church and in the community and met people I’ll never live without.
And that’s when I started loving my job and it felt like my job loved me back.
Life is about loving God and loving people. THAT’S IT. If we can take that and apply it at the place we have been called to work and serve, everything will fall into place so beautifully.
I didn’t move up right away at work. I kept doing my best at my low, entry level job and just started finding the beauty in it. I got better at it and prayed for God to open doors.
Boy did He open some doors.
I was given opportunities that only He could have orchestrated. There is no way I could have done it and no reason anyone should have let me do it. He was guiding me through doors and then knocking down more.
I hit my knees and cry out in thankfulness so often for what He has done for me, not just professionally, but in my life in general.
My job isn’t perfect and it has its ups and downs. I have really bad days and really good days. There are days I want to quit and days I can’t wait to be back.
I used to be envious of so many girls my age with other jobs. I just knew they were making so much more money and living fabulous, happy, cool, awesome lives. And then I would talk to them and find out how much they were struggling too.
The grass is never greener guys. We HAVE to water our own yard and plant our own seeds because God gave us the grass right in front of us, not the lot across the street. And that was for a very large purpose.
You matter. Your job matters. Your life matters.
What you’re doing is making a difference in some way, whether you think so or not.
And the good news: You will always be where you are supposed to be.
If you are listening to God and heeding to His will, He is leading you right along, I promise. He promises (which counts way more than my promise).
Chances are, you won’t be at your first job forever. But if you are, then you will have so much joy in being there forever!
Even better news: This world is not our home. Our real job here is to love and show people Jesus. That’s all.
Use where you are to be a light and be a vessel. If you want to be somewhere else and truly believe you should be, just pray. All you have to do is ask, and in His time, you’ll find a door swinging wide open.
Don’t be discouraged and don’t feel worthless. You’re not the only one going through this. Life knocks you down as soon as you step into the real world, but you just have to get up and get back to it.
Meet people. Love people. Love life. And just love Jesus. He will see to it that all the rest comes together for your good.
Press on. You’re doing great.