The pandemic era, for most working people, has been defined by disruption and uncertainty. But whether you lost a job, worked from home, or faced big changes in your workplace, the last few months may well have got you wondering whether your job is really giving you fulfillment.
John Sikkema is Executive Chairman of Halftime Australia, an organisation helping people find their larger purpose, especially in moments of transition. He knows from personal experience that it’s easy to start thinking your career is your whole life.
But talking to Neil Johnson on Vision’s 20Twenty, he says the discontentment he sees in his clients often comes when their work isn’t meaningful to them. “Research has shown that people, when they’re on their deathbed, rarely say I wish I’d spent more time at work, or built a bigger company, or had more staff.”
He describes being stuck in an unfulfilling job as a “Groundhog Day experience”, waking up and going through the motions with no understanding of why. “Usually it’s about feeling helpless or powerless, or a sense of I’m trapped, and I can’t get out of this predicament because of a whole range of things.”
“I really want to make some changes, but I don’t know what they are. Procrastination tends to happen when we’re unclear of what to do next, and we haven’t been able to work out the steps to get us from where we are now.”
We often stay in jobs we don’t enjoy because they provide more financial security than options which fit your values. But Sikkema also reminds us that our faith literally requires us to trust God to provide for us when we seek his Kingdom.
He says a lot of people are averse to change, unless they’re certain they’ll be better off. “I find many businesspeople I’m coaching, they want all the ducks lined up, and everything clear and set up properly before they’ll make change. Well where’s the Faith component in this?”
Another problem Sikkema sees often is that people haven’t discovered God’s calling for them. When asked about their Christian life, they will say they want to keep the 10 Commandments and make a difference in their church.
“But really, if you look at Ephesians 2:10, it actually says that God created good works in advance for us to do. And Part A of that Bible text in the New Living Translation says we are God’s masterpiece.”
If you are a masterpiece, that means you’re completely unique, and built to change the world. So what’s holding you back from reaching that potential? Sikkema has mentored CEO’s who’ve felt crippled by fear and self-doubt. “And I believe that’s not the Holy Spirit that’s creating doubt and fear. But I believe that’s the evil one.”
In his conversation with Neil Johnson, Sikkema spoke more about getting your career and your calling in alignment, and told the story of how he was also stuck in a meaningless career which was ruining his life, until he decided to step out in faith. He also outlined seven principles for success. Check out this inspiring conversation in the podcast below.
Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.