It costs the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion per year. 20% are actively disengaged in it. 50% are totally disengaged in it. An alarming 70% hate it and no perks or incentives can change their feeling about it.
You may already be guessing what “it” is. Because you may feel the same way about your work. And you’re not alone. A Mercer survey of 30,000 workers worldwide showed that between 28% and 56% of employees in 17 spots around the globe wanted to leave their jobs. In the U.S., 32% said they wanted to find new work.
What a contrast from the first job you had. Remember it? Mine was working at the football stadium in San Angelo, Texas as a ninth grader. My speech teacher, who was also a coach, lined me up with a job working the press booth. It was tough. I had to get cokes and hot dogs and popcorn for the sportswriters. Along the way the people in the concession stands got to know me and would give me free food too.
For a ninth grader it was perfect. Work was fun. I liked the people. They liked me. And I got a check at the end of every game.
But other jobs after the first one were not so great. And maybe the one you’re in right now isn’t. And maybe, like me, you thought you understood why you felt that way. There was a time I’d just point back to Genesis 3. After the Fall God tells Adam that because he listened to his wife and ate of the forbidden fruit he would now have to work hard. There would be thorns and thistles and he’d sweat and stink.
I had this idea that if there had been no Fall there would have been no work. We’d all get to just hang out every day picking fruit off trees, listening to carefree music by the Beach boys, while not wearing any clothes and not even being bothered by it.
I was wrong. Before Genesis 3 there is Genesis 1 and 2. And there we find quite a bit about work. God worked. He didn’t dread doing the work of creation. Like an artist stroking colors across a canvas he made land and sea and sky and stars and animals and plants. But he didn’t stop there. He made man and woman.
Then he placed them in the Garden and he gave man work to do. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Work was already there in Genesis 2. Work was there before the Fall. Work is part of God’s design for us.
The Apostle Paul gave this admonition about work: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Read it slowly and you’ll find two approaches that will help you in your workplace.
- First, work for the Lord. Try it and see how it changes the way you use your time, the way you view a co-worker, or maybe your boss. Your manager may not see you, but God does. See the work you are given to do as work given by God. And be thankful you have work.
- And then work from the soul. Put yourself into your work. In Paul’s admonition he says “work heartily.” Literally this says “from the soul.” We are to work in the same way we are to love God: with all our soul. In other words, give it all you’ve got. When you’re at work, work. Then go home and enjoy your family and friends.
Take Jesus with you to your workplace. God honors work. So honor God in your work.
Work for the Lord. And work from the soul. You might renew the feeling you had with that first job.