What do long term employees do when their careers collapse because their companies fold? What about business people, pastors or professionals who are shunted into retirement whether or not they want to go? Similar questions face new graduates who can’t find work in the careers for which they spent years and a fortune getting prepared. “What am I supposed to do [now]?” is an article in Relevant magazine (July/August 2012) focusing on looking into the future in times of career re-evaluation. The May/June 2012 issue discusses ways to find and live out one’s calling. At times most of us face the challenges of selecting a career path, finding a job, adapting to vocational disappointments or rethinking one’s calling. Here are observations adapted from the Relevant articles.
- The workplace is changing. No longer can one graduate, get a job, stay there for life, then retire. More often we change jobs and careers often. Many younger people don’t care about company loyalty or climbing corporate latters. One survey found 97% of Generation Y workers prefer work that lets them impact the world and find fulfillment; 72% of college students want to be entrepreneurs. Younger workers value freedom, independence and relationships more than recognition, titles and promotions.
- The challenge for career seekers is to answer questions like What was I born to do? How do I know? What do I love doing? What am I compelled to do? What do I do well? What kinds of people do I like to be with? Who do I admire and why? What in my past has been successful and apparently God-blessed? How would I like to be remembered? These are in the question-arsenal of most career coaches and counselors.
- Ponder where God is at work in the world and consider where you might fit.
- Find out what your friends think you are cut out to do.
- Realize that finding and fulfilling your calling may be difficult in changing and tough economic times. Keep your eyes open for change but keep doing your present work well and in ways that build people and honor God (Col. 3:23).
- Learn from others who have struggled with their careers and calling, especially in times of change. If you are such a person please comment so others can benefit from your experiences.