{concerning vocation} reading round-up (11.22.13)

A few links on dealing with difficult jobs to follow up with what I shared earlier this week… enjoy!

The Gospel Coalition has written several articles I think are great here. Is Your Job Useless? tackles the idea of doing God’s work in your job, even if it doesn’t seem like purposeful or enjoyable work to you.

 Five Ways to Find Joy in a Job You Don’t Love is particularly helpful with practical suggestions for difficult situations. I love the point about looking for what aspect of God’s character is exalted in your tasks, even if they don’t seem meaningful or fulfilling to you.

How to Humanize the Workplace is a great look at healing for brokenness in messy workplaces.  This is probably most helpful or useful if you’re in management, but I would have had more productive discussions in my circumstances if I had been able to explain my perspective with the sorts of terms used in this article.

Following up on that note, this article about investing in your work highlights some important things to think about for long-term career growth, especially that making significant sacrifices for a job where your bosses, managers, and coworkers do not make decisions that honor your dedication and position disrespects the dignity of the life and vocation God has given you.

I actually haven’t read Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor, but Aaron’s going through it with his men’s group and I have appreciated what he’s shared from it. It’s at the top of my list for Christmas vacation reading!

In Quitter, Jon Acuff tackles several practical aspects of getting from your day job to your dream job. His admonition that dreams are only worth chasing if you’re willing to chase them with all your spare time was the kick I needed to start teaching piano in the evenings, even though I was exhausted. Guess what? It ended up being not-that-exhausting… The mental and spiritual boost of working to get where I needed to go was immensely encouraging.

Finally, a solid exhortation from Albert Einstein. (Or maybe just Pinterest. Be sure to read what Abraham Lincoln said about quotes on the internet.) My life improved dramatically when I stopped buying the lie that my challenges were the result of a bad attitude. I realized I needed to think outside the box to discern the opportunity in the difficulty.