Your work is valuable in God’s eyes (Part 2: When you’re working a non-career job)

McDonald's, Employees
Image by The Consumerist via Flickr

Maybe back in January, you read my reflections on scripture which teaches that your work is inherently valuable to God. And maybe you’re in a job that has nothing to do with the career path you’d like to follow. It’s a lot harder to maintain an attitude of hope and purpose in that sort of environment, isn’t it?

With this in mind, I asked one of my friends about her thoughts on the matter. Ashleigh works as an assistant manager at a restaurant in town, and I’ve noticed that she has done a great job representing Christ in her workplace, even though she’s planning to pursue a career elsewhere.

Ashleigh, some people might say that your work isn’t that important since it’s not where you want your career to be. What would you say in response?

Everything we do is important. Whether it is increasing experience in transferrable skills or getting better at the skills we have, we should do our best. Even though food service is not anything near what I want to do, I still think it is important because practically it helps me get better as a worker in general. Specifically, any job gives you a mission field to those surrounding you.

How do you maintain a positive and Christ-centered attitude in your working environment?

Sometimes it is very hard to keep a Christ-centered attitude. I have to purposely choose to not lash out in anger, or to do the hard thing instead of the easy thing. Things that help are people who know me and what I’m trying to accomplish. They encourage me and congratulate me when I do well. Even though I might grow frustrated and want a different job, I know that my actions are supposed to represent Christ. So, it is not necessarily what I do, but it’s what God allows me to do. I could not have a good attitude many times without God giving me encouragement or the right mind set.

What kind of impact are you able to have on your coworkers and customers?

It has been humbling when I hear what coworkers have to say. Several of them come to me for help with personal problems. But more importantly, I have people ask about God and say that they know I am a Christian…so what do I have to say about a particular issue or problem they are facing? By being a good worker and doing my best, it allows them to see how Christ impacts me and how living a Christian life is a good thing, not just “a bunch of rules.” I’ve been amazed and happy about the conversations I’ve had about God with my coworkers.

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