One of my friends was sharing some of the issues that she was experiencing on her job. I listened. I let her vent because she was where I used to be. She wanted to do a good job, but she was surrounded by idiots that just wouldn’t let her be great! I explained to her that it’s good to have passion for your work, but that passion is misplaced at most 9 to 5 jobs.
You can’t expect a job to bring you the happiness you seek. You need to view that job as a means to an end. It funds your life, but it is not your life. In other words, it helps fund your real purpose in life. Many times, we confuse our job with our purpose in life. Oftentimes, that simply is not the case. So, I helped guide my friend towards various avenues that could be her purpose and gave her advice about how she could go about accomplishing them outside of her 9 to 5 job.
I am happy to report that by the end of our conversation, her entire demeanor changed. At the beginning of our conversation, she was upset and felt defeated. Towards the end, she was so happy and couldn’t stop thanking me! It was like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
Our conversation got me thinking, how easy it is for us to misplace our passion. For example, many people put their faith in corporations who most times are being led by idiots. They get to the top by nepotism, through their connections or their willingness to lie, cheat, and steal. Yet, these people still manage to acquire leadership roles even though they aren’t qualified to run a business. This is why businesses close or get acquired. I have seen this time and time again, in my own life as well as others. Placing our faith in a corporation will bring nothing but disappointment. Corporations don’t have our best interest at heart. Our job can literally be here today and gone tomorrow. This is why I will never work myself to death for a company.
Now, let me be clear, I am in no way shape, or form advocating that you should be a slacker. What I’m saying is that you have to have a balance in life. I work hard and I play hard. Regardless of what I’m doing whether it be my 9 to 5 job, one of my many side hustles, playing sports, etc. I give 100%. I’m a really hard worker and competitive. I hate slackers and procrastinators.
If you give me a project, I’ll have it done 3 days before it’s due. I’ve always been this way because this is how I was raised. I was raised to take pride and ownership in my work. My mom would always remind us, “You’re working for God, not people. Christ has your reward, not the idiots who think they are your boss.” (Col 3:23-24).
Early on in my career, I was incredibly naive and forgot the aforementioned advice my mom shared with me. I was expecting praise from my bosses and was left feeling confused when I didn’t get the promotion nor the raise I expected. Here’s the thing, I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of working for managers that were a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal.
Instead of motivating you to succeed, they would do everything in their power to keep you down. They enjoyed placing additional mental or physical obstacles in your path. I learned the hard way to focus on pleasing Christ, not the idiot who thinks he/she is my boss. So much of our time is spent trying to please someone who doesn’t like themselves or who are as dumb as a box of rocks.
I remember talking to my mom about this same issue I talked to my friend about. Again, being naive, I did not understand what my mom meant when she said that we set ourselves up for failure when we try to please someone who doesn’t like themselves. That person has seriously deep-rooted personal problems. When you work for someone like this, the only thing you can do is watch your back and do your job to the best of your ability. In this situation, the praises and raises will definitely have to come from Christ. I’m here to testify that they definitely did for me.
My conversation with my friend also got me thinking about how insecure and dumb people can be. I later learned that some of those managers that caused me so much unnecessary grief were jealous of me. Despite the fact that I was reporting to them and they were making way more money than me (quite frankly more than what they deserved), they were still jealous of me. It turned out that they feared me surpassing them.
Thanks to my mom’s guidance and constantly pushing me, this is exactly what I did. I surpassed all of those worthless managers. They tried everything in their power to hold me back. They had become complacent and wanted me to do the same. They took their frustration out on me when I refused to behave like them. Oftentimes, my achievements served as a reminder of that person’s shortcomings in life.
Remember, you may be working in a less than ideal environment physically, but that shouldn’t be the case mentally. Take time out to take classes to learn new skills, listening to others who created their own opportunities. Shameless plug, check out my other podcast called Starengu which is where I provide career and business advice, and interview inspiring entrepreneurs/side hustlers that will without a doubt motivate you to do the same.
Even if you’re not able to demonstrate them on your 9 to 5 job, take comfort in knowing that you’re working for Christ. Once you discover your talents, if you stay in faith and consistently work towards developing your talent you will eventually get the opportunity to shoot your shot.
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