Transition: Are You Working on Purpose?

Last night I went to a Job Ministry event and listened to a speaker from the Career Transitions Center talk about being in Transition. For those of you who don’t know because you have not gone through this Dark Night of the Soul, Transition is the new euphemism for being unemployed. The title of his talk was “Unemployment: It’s About More Than Just Finding Your Next Job”.

I had expected a talk about how to revise your resume and improve your presentation skills, but he asked seven thought-provoking questions that had me considering the path that brought me to this place.

First question: Are you working on purpose?

He referred to the Gospel of John (we were in a church after all) when Jesus asks John and Andrew – What are you looking for? What really matters to you? His point was that if we care about what we are doing – we bring a gift to the world.

In the current environment, there is a temptation to look for a job that will help pay the bills as soon as possible. In some cases, that’s the only option people have, so we do what it takes to attend to the situation, but I think he was asking us to step back and look at what we care about, what gifts we have to bring to the table and see where they can be of service.

I have been walking the middle line on the idea of taking a job because it’s a job. I hate to be idle. My mind longs for the 84 problems a day I used to have at Motorola. But I’ve also been in a situation where I had a job so I could put money aside, but every day was a struggle to find my happy spot and be positive. My belief is that work should be fun. If you have the time to wait, wait for it.

He asked us to reflect back to when we were employed and remember whether we looked forward to Mondays. I have to admit that while I was tired, I did look forward to tackling my list for the day. %) He said that if we looked forward to the next day, we can know that we were on purpose and we have a definite direction for our future. If not, we have been given a gift (whether welcome or not) to take the time to discover what does matter to us. We have the opportunity to ask ourselves the question from Steve Pavlina’s book Personal Development for Smart People: “Where is the Path with Heart?” For me, I believe I’m headed in the right direction. Project Management is my focus. So, are you working on purpose?


I don’t plan for these posts to be very long, so I’m going to stop here and go through the rest of the seven questions in future posts.


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