I hate my job.
I hear those words far too often. Well, maybe not those exact words, but the general attitude of angst toward work is extremely prevalent. And as that attitude begins to take root, it crosses the boundary and erodes our personal lives as well. If you feel that way about your job, you’ll begin to feel that way about your life.
On the other hand, many people accept the myth that professional success will automatically leak over into their personal life. What they find is that their bank account is full, but their heart is empty.
Whether you’re ignoring this problem altogether or whether you’re bloody from the fight, personal and professional abundance begin when you understand the correlation between the two.
Learning From My Day Job
For the last seven years, I have been an insurance agent. Truthfully, there’s nothing terribly exciting about it. In fact, one of my friends told me, “Matt, dealing with insurance is like going to the dentist.” (I wasn’t sure whether I should take offense or say thank you)
To combat this predisposition, I have tried to church up my profession by saying that I “protect your family’s standard of living” or “advise you on your overall insurance plan.” Those are great words and certainly benefits that I provide, but at the end of the day, I sell homeowners, auto, and life insurance.
When I began writing however, it seemed so fresh. It was drastically different from insurance and I was captivated by expressing myself in this new way.
Moreover, when people began telling me that my writing gave them hope—that it helped and encouraged them during a difficult time—I began to think that this might be a new career path. I loved feeling that sense of fulfillment, something I rarely felt in my insurance career.
Yet the more I thought about it, the more I felt trapped. It seemed as if I wasn’t doing what I loved at all.
Then, something happened that changed my perspective:
I received a call from our home office informing me that one of my insurance clients had passed away. I immediately thought about her life insurance policy and called her husband to begin processing the claim. The sorrow in his voice was real and I could hear his heartache as we discussed the details concerning his wife’s insurance policy.
I walked with him through this difficult time, but it was nothing special—I was just doing my job.
After our company had settled the expenses from the funeral service, there were some funds left over that I needed to deliver to my client. It was in his living room that day, watching him weep as I handed him the check, that it hit me:
I gave him hope today. I helped and encouraged him during a difficult time.
Yes, this is exactly what I was made to do.
My job wasn’t the problem, my attitude toward my job was.
Do Great Work
Now, you may not love your job and I’m not suggesting that you have to stay there forever. But I will say this, ingratitude for where you are will never create hopefulness for where you want to go.
In addition, your job, whatever it might be, is the natural place where you express who you are. It is the place where you live out, and actually act on, what you believe.
As a Christian, if I fail to take the image of Christ with me in what I do, I don’t fail my job, I fail God. My faith doesn’t just exist at church on Sunday or when I’m speaking to a youth group, my faith is lived out in the everyday.
As an author, if I forget to live out the principles I write about, then I fail—as a person and as an author. My writing isn’t meant to be a self-perpetuating system, it’s meant to inspire me to live what I write.
As an insurance agent, if I fail to invest in my clients and genuinely care for their needs, I’m failing to deliver on the promises I have made. It’s not about selling them something to sell them something, it’s about serving them.
Your job may seem menial and redundant, but it is the place where you will continue to be built up into the person you are becoming. It’s not your job that keeps you from growing, it’s your attitude toward your job that holds you back.
In Ephesians, Paul writes:
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So today, do the good work that He has prepared you to do—wherever that might be.
Yes, even insurance. Especially insurance.
For more perspective on your life and your career, join this mailing list:
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking