For so many years I have been working with the wrong mindset when it came to my expectations at work. To make matters worse, I thought I deserved better; and much construed to the fact that I am a devout Christian seeking God for divine favor and mercies in all that which I do. But I got a wake up call over the weekend after a chat with a friend. And my world was literally turned downside up! For the better (I’m sure).
It is so easy to expect accolades, expect support, expect team spirit and expect understanding in any work environment. But what rule of law does that stand for? Especially if you are a christian? Yeah, yeah, we are often told its right to stand for truth, even so sometimes expected to be the banner of ‘righteousness’ and justice in our workplaces so much for the sake of being Christ-like. but what is the reality of what is expected of us in any workplace?
I know I will get some reactions from this but just hear where I am coming from. And for sure, I don’t mean for you to stop your work and start praying and preaching in your place of work as a Christian. No-no. That to me is not professional at all. I decided to at least work on these three things to reward myself in any working condition of which the most important was to give more.
1. Who said I should expect more apart from my full salary?
The only warranted expectation should be your paycheck. Do your work even if nobody will ever thank you. It is not in vain, because with time you sharpen your skills and definitely you will be noticed for your novel work. When you understand the principle that you are working at your current place of work to give out without looking to your superiors or your colleagues for affirmation and relationships, then you begin to understand that you are there to give to your employer and not receive. Remember, the ‘give-me spirit’ undermines success which is brought about by serving others professionally. Its all about what can you do for the pay you getting!
If I knew this little truth nugget years ago, I think I would have stuck to some previous jobs in the past. And its no wonder Pastor TD Jakes commented in one of his preaching saying that we ‘prostitute’ ourselves and our careers to the highest bidder forgetting that our call doesn’t necessarily mean we rely on the highest salary. But how do we survive? Try having 3 other sources of income (from your talents and gifts) so that you can live comfortably enough to do your job where you are employed and serve. Model over the weekends, teach an evening class, start community projects that attract donors and support, write a book, invest in stocks, just do something else. Do the side hustle- wisely.
You know I laughed at my husband when he started his projects years ago. It started with two small puppies pure German Shepherd breeds and 4 litters later, he has made a mark for himself as a good dog breeder with puppies worth buying. Then he brought home tree seeds and made a tree nursery. Today, he has over 40,000 seedlings of various tree species and a growing clientele who prefer his trees. When I thought he was done, he was already searching for other opportunities and saw the need to provide fresh organic food in our little town. Oh I dint just observe, I joined in the bandwagon at this stage. He is a simple Manager. Just remember never to misuse your employers time.
2. A challenge could mean something totally different from what you thought.
Most times when you ask your team leader for a challenge, you probably get a task you were not prior put in charge for or if you are newly employed, it could be task at hand in your new place of work. When we understand challenges as trials or tests, you understand that you are the solution to these trials. It is so unfortunate when one starts cracking the challenge with so much enthusiasm only to join the many others who already saw it as a very volatile volcanic mountain and started staying away from it or better yet, started looking for other better opportunities to work.
You are the solution to your work problems. Use your expertise and God given ability to make solutions that make sense to your company. That is why the Holy Spirit is there for you. Quit complaining that your place of work is drab; and that your work environment is hostile; and that the top management should be able to handle things better than they are being handled and be that blessing to your organisation. The ideal mentality you should have is, “What do I have to offer to be a blessing in my place of work? Shake off your ‘give-me’ spirit and instead wear the ‘what can I offer?’ spirit.
Yes, there are signs of sabotage, or even worse, you are working with a team that complains about everything in that organisation, maybe your colleagues morale could be low, or you just have a clueless team. I see it as an opportunity. What most of us end up doing often times is enter into that mindset or work environment to fit in but in reality you are losing your focus for being employed there. That is why God put you in that position This should be your opportunity to influence, to advice the influencers on the best strategies to take.
3.Don’t you ever go to your daily place of work defeated.
Positive proclamations towards your success could just be the weapon you need to get your job done.Start proclaiming support from your team members, start proclaiming victory in a troubling project, start proclaiming favor from your difficult bosses, etc. When you wake up in the morning, the last thing in your mind should be “Lord, I don’t want to go to that place, I don’t want to meet with that supervisor, I wish I could get a new place to work soon…..’ What you are doing is literally stripping yourself off your armor: Helmet of Salvation (your thoughts are exposed), Breastplate of Righteousness (you end up doing your job badly); Belt of truth (you start believing all sorts of rumors and false stories that dampen your spirit); Shoes fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace ( you no longer influence Christ); Shield of Faith ( you start wondering why God gave you this job if its so bad and you lose faith); Sword of the Word of God ( you probably miss out on the encouraging word of God due to dampened spirits)… Read about the Armour from Ephesians Chapter 6.
Do not go to work exposed. Arm yourself both spiritually, mentally and physically. Be wise and emotionally intelligent.
One last note, if you limit yourself to work with people that you like, then you limit your career growth and success and most of all, you limit your potential for God to multiply you according to your vision.