So following on from my last post. I think it is clear that I need a career change. However, what exactly do I mean by that? The easy, rational (maybe) & certainly worldly thing to do is to go find another job. If it is my industry that is the problem, then I should go & find another industry right? Go to school or something. This is all good practical advise that I have received & told myself many times over the last 18 years.
For whatever reason I have never done it, fear of failure? Sure, fear of not being able to meet my responsibilities & commitments? That too. The thing that gets me though, is that no matter how close I get to leaving my company, I always wind up staying, why is that? Well I’m sure you know by now God is a pretty big part of my life, whenever I get close to doing what I think I should be doing, there is always a thought that says you are right where you need to be, don’t leave. Now could have I been misinterpreting the message, getting caught in my own fears, but I believe that until now I have been where I should be.
This brings me to the present, my stifling, oppressive dissatisfaction with where I am today. Some days the monotony is more difficult than others. Going through the motions, just trying to get it all done so you can leave & forget it ever happened. Clearly this is not a good place to be mentally or emotionally. The baggage from this struggle can infect the rest of my life & frankly I am sick of it.
So here I am, back to the new job or new career thing. Let me investigate that briefly before I explain the problem with that. There is a train of thought that you should find what you love to do & do it, find what makes you feel alive & figure out a way to get paid for doing it. In Wild at Heart, Eldridge quotes Gil Bailie saying “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive”. Now I’ll be honest with you, I absolutely love that way of thinking, there is nothing more that I want for my daughter’s career than for it to be that. But for me? I don’t even know what that would mean for me. What makes me feel most alive today when I am doing something? It is when I am in an act or worship, whether it is at church, or serving in the community, more than music or sport or doing anything, I feel alive when I am in an act or worship.
This is where the problem lies. It is not a matter of vocation, it is a matter of mindset, heart & identity. If I change my job, that is an environmental change, of the 5 levels of change (future blog spoiler), that is the lowest & least effective. If I change my job I will still be there, wherever I go I will be. The thing that I have realized is that it is not necessarily the job that is the problem, yes I am bored, but the main problem is me. I am asking my job do to things for me that a job cannot possibly do.
What do I want from a job? I want to be stimulated, I want to be challenged (ok a job should be able to somewhat do that). I feel most alive professionally when I am required to be creative. More than that though, I want to feel like I am making a difference, bingo. You see that is where this all comes from. I want my life to mean something, I want my life to be significant. This is where I am at today, I need to & am learning what significance really is. For most of us it is not some big Bob Geldof or (err I really should know a significant American) moment, it is like my poem, a small collection of moments that add up to a lifetime of significance.
Somehow I have convinced myself that if I am stuck doing this thing that I did not choose to do, dealing with stress everyday, then my life is not mattering enough. This is the first place that my career change needs to take place. I need to get it through my thick skull where significance & making a difference comes from. Yes I may not be directly making a difference (in my mind) every day. However I am making money, money that I use to provide for my family, my biggest everything is my family, they are my life. I also use the money to give to charity, this is not some trumpet blowing exercise, but indirectly I do make a difference everyday, from the orphanage in China we give to, to the clean water project in India, to our church & all the outreach we contribute to through them. So while I am not directly & actively involved in these things, me doing my job helps provide for them to be done. My job also provided the funds for me to do the things I enjoy, music toys, travel, beer, all sorts of things. That is just material crap & doesn’t really matter, but I’m not going to lie & say I don’t like getting new toys I mean who doesn’t and there is nothing wrong with that (unless that is your entire reason for existing).
Then there is this other small (yeah right) matter of what does God want me to do? This for me has to be the number one priority, this is where some if not all of this is coming from. If you’re not a God person, you have this part easy, you just do what is right for you & yours, whereas the Godsman must take into account these other factors. This is where things are really muddled right now.
If you’re reading this & you are a believer, please pray for me, for guidance & clarity in my life for my future.