— by Robert J. Tamasy —
Some of us are fortunate to have jobs we truly enjoy. But according to studies, the vast majority of men and women in the business and professional world dislike, even hate their jobs; at best, they tolerate what they have to do every day to earn a living. Are you among them?
Would you like to be able to say with sincerity, “I love my job!”? What do you think it would be like to begin each day with eager anticipation, looking forward to the opportunities and challenges you will encounter at your workplace – rather than with dread and anxiety?
“Well, I would have to change jobs!” many people would agree. Perhaps, but recently I heard an intriguing story that seemed to indicate a new place to work might not necessarily be required for finding a job you love.
At a cancer support group meeting I attended (my wife is a cancer survivor), a woman was telling about an inspiring person she had met while going for her treatments – a valet parking attendant. “This woman was amazing,” she said. “She truly loved her job – and she loved each of us, patients at the hospital where she worked, as we would arrive each day for our appointments. She never failed to have a big smile and an uplifting word of encouragement for each of us.”
“She made the greatest impression on me,” the speaker at the meeting observed. “She would be out there every day, even in scorching heat and freezing cold, focused on greeting each patient and helping to make their day a little bit brighter.”
Being an administrator for a non-profit organization, the woman telling this story thought to herself, “This is the kind of person we need to hire as our new receptionist.” In fact, she offered the job to the parking attendant. The woman, with her customary smile, politely declined. She explained she could never leave her job – not because it paid well, but in a real sense it had become her “dream job.” She looked forward to each day and the opportunity to offer a kind word, give someone a needed smile, or shine a light of hope to someone desperately needing it. In a word, she saw her job as ministry.
What if we each took that same attitude, viewing our work as ministry – an opportunity to serve and be of help to others – rather than simply a source of a paycheck or a way to fill time between weekends? But how can we do this, especially if circumstances are far from ideal? Consider this advice from the Bible:
Focus on the positive. Undoubtedly, aspects of the parking attendant’s work are not perfect, things she might change if she could. But instead, she concentrates on others. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
Remember whom you ultimately serve. In our jobs we must envision doing our part in something much bigger than ourselves. Centuries ago, someone observed a brick mason and asked if he ever grew tired of his work. “No,” he replied, “because I’m building a cathedral.” “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving ” (Colossians 3:22-24).
Originally published in the January 16, 2012, issue of Monday Manna, published by CBMC international. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace(River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.