you are not your job

3 Things You’ll Never Get at Work

I remember the nerves I felt during my first Emmy Awards gala. I sat in a crowded room full of journalists wearing tuxedos and fancy evening gowns. Everyone was hoping to hear their names called. When the host finally arrived at my award category, I started sweating. Was my work worthy of honor? He called my name, and I won the first big award of my local television career. The walk to the stage was a blur. I gave a short speech, everyone clapped, and I was the proud new owner of a prestigious golden trophy. That award, I thought, had finally given me value. Turns out, I was wrong.

Work is important, but you are not your job. Here are 3 things you’ll never get at work.

1. Your Worth

Everyone wants to feel worthy. I remember sitting through annual performance reviews hoping to hear I was valued by company management. It’s important to try our best in our careers, but our work does not determine our worth. Your boss’s approval is not what gives you value. When we find our worth in our work, then we’re only as good as our last report. Underperforming would mean losing value. We need to find our worth in something other than our jobs. I find mine in God. I believe we are made in God’s image. My performance doesn’t make me any more or less worthy to him. I am inherently worthy because of God. Again, you are not your job. No job can add or subtract from that because we are not our work.

Work is important, but you are not your job.

2. Your Purpose

One of the main objectives of a job is to make money, but income is not the purpose of living. It’s important, but we need more than cash flow to live a life full of purpose. Finding the reason you are walking this earth will come from things much more permanent than a job. Things like family, faith, and community involvement craft your purpose. If you’re struggling with recognizing your purpose, a good way to determine it is to ask yourself who and what is most important to you. Then, chase those things with passion. Your purpose will reveal itself.

3. Your Security

The average American will work 10 to 15 jobs throughout his or her lifetime. Most people only spend about four years in any one job. My first television reporting job didn’t last long. Even though I felt secure thanks to the two-year contract I signed out of college, I was laid off after just nine months. I found myself unemployed two months before I was set to get married. The security I thought the TV contract provided me was fool’s gold. The secure feeling we all desire only lasts as long as the paychecks keep coming. If we want real security, we need something that never fails. I think God is our only true security. When I am lost, hopeless, or in need of inspiration, God never fails me. I went nearly a year without a job and knew God was working behind the scenes the whole time to set me up for a bright future. The words of Romans 8:31 bring me comfort during uncertainty: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I feel secure in God, regardless of the chaos surrounding me. That’s the kind of security no job can offer.

Sound off: What are some other things work can never provide?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Am I spending too much time on work? What else would you like to see me do?”