Published on June 27th, 2013 | by Nathaniel1
Job Security vs. Dream Maturity
150,000 part-time and full-time employees were surveyed in the most recent Gallup State of the American Workplace Poll. According to the findings, 70% of Americans either hate their job or are disengaged from their work. Now the average American spends 90,000 hours (or more than 1/3 of their life) at work according to Business Insider. So to get the facts straight, there are 70% of Americans spending more than 1/3 of their lives not cultivating their gifts, talents, and interests in the right environment. Wow.
I get it. We’ve been consciously and subconsciously cultured to get a good “job” after college in order to be “secure.” We’ve been told that institutions and corporations are looking for individuals with higher levels of education so we cater our academic track to “what they need.” We get a job and maybe this job transitions to career with ladders for advancement. These ladders afford us the ability to live “comfortably” and possess what we think is “job security.” As the years peel away, we find ourselves shackled to a system that maybe pays well but ultimately adds no meaning, no definition, and no fulfillment to our lives. We merely exist in the stagnant pudding that has become our life. In this situation, we’ve traded our freedom for security. Consequently, every sale, every presentation, every ounce of work we perform is for the fulfillment of someone else’s dream. And it sucks. Right?
When God so intricately designed the earth and all that it is composed of, He worked for six days creating every single plant, animal, and element for specific purposes. Now “work” is an inevitable function that mandates the exertion of energy for a result. However, where we perform our work is critical. According to Delatorro McNeal II, author of Caught Between a Dream and a Job, we can extend our work in three places: A Job, A Career, or A Dream. Let’s focus just on the dream component. If every living thing is and was blessed with a certain skill-set or gifting, isn’t there an obligatory responsibility to fulfill it? I like to believe that we were designed with intention from the uniqueness of our fingerprint to the color and texture of our hair. And a dream says who we are, the gifts that we have, and ultimately the dreams that live beyond our jobs are not a mistake- they’re intentional.
The tradeoff between freedom and security is a hard one, especially when one has to consider his or her family, interest accruing loans, and medical insurance. I get it. But security as we think of it doesn’t actually exist. I don’t care what company or institution you work for- none of them have the goal of getting you rich, financially comfortable, or however you want to define it. Your value is essentially assigned to you by your employer. Employees at every level are a means to someone else’s dream- sadly, but truly dispensable at any and every level. Therefore, security is not a state but a feeling. And that feeling can often be temporary. So does it make sense to forgo the freedom that comes with designing your work and your life for a temporary feeling?
In the Creative Age we are living, we have the unique ability to frame our work around our lives. In doing so, we invest in the content of our dreams. Trust me, I understand that dreams take time and we need to have the patience to take one step at a time. But don’t defer your dream just because the steps lead toward a ladder that you think leads to security. Now, I don’t know your particular situation or the dream you’ve put on hold but I do know that you don’t have to just “exist.” On the other side of faith, trust, and hard work is the freedom to live boldly, intently, and abundantly.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 “And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life- that is indeed a gift from God.”