What I’ve Learned While Working Jobs I Didn’t Like

After graduating college, finding a good job that fit me was a struggle but also a growing experience. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way that have helped me put work in perspective.

I am unique.

Society tells us that we can be whatever we want. I politely disagree. God created us with different personalities and abilities. Trying to do something that you haven’t been given the ability to do will only frustrate you and burn you out.

When I first graduated from college, I largely ignored trying to understand how God wired me as a person (strengths and weaknesses, temperament, personality, etc.), pursuing different jobs that I thought would work, which only led to me doing work I didn’t like and wasn’t good at.

Perspective and gratitude are key.

There are those that have been born or have fallen into unfortunate circumstances (poverty, war, sex trafficking, etc.), and these people would do anything to trade spots with me on my worst day. I am blessed.

Find joy in the process.

Society has a set of benchmarks that are supposed to tell us how well we are succeeding in life, things like graduating high school and college, getting married, buying a house and finding a highly esteemed, well-paying job. That’s when, supposedly, we know we have “arrived.” Being consumed by these goals – and not learning from or enjoying the process – leads to discontentment. I love the TV character Andy Dwyer (from Parks and Rec) because of his attitude. He is always joyful and always having fun – even if many people would label him a failure. His positive attitude is contagious. As Christians, our hope, joy and fulfillment are ultimately found in God (Romans 15:13), not in work – even though work is a great thing! Regardless of where I find myself each day, that verse holds me steadfast, and I’m trusting that this joy is overflowing into others.

 

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Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”