Posts in discernment
Three Negative Side Effects to Job Searching

US News predicted that 2016 would be the year of "job hopping" since so many Americans indicated they were at least looking for a new job.

Having just come off of a year of discernment and prayer, I can personally say that job seeking is a wonderful way to stretch your horizons and be challenged.  Many times, it can also result in a new opportunity and a bigger stage for your career.  

But... and here's the catch, job seeking can also have some negative results, including the following:

  1. It can fatigue you.  Job hunting is tiring, really tiring.  You can feel it literally in your bones and this is something to watch out for.  Keeping a good diet, plenty of rest and exercise is important whenever you are job seeking.
  2. It can distract you.  Looking for something new is like seeing a shiny object- it catches your eye and you're likely to ignore other things.  This can be a problem.  It's important to fulfill your job duties, no matter how mundane they may seem all the way until you finish your work and then transition into a new role.
  3. It can tempt you to settle just to make the process come to an end.  Sort of like dating- job seeking can make you so fed up with "the process" that you just settle for the first thing that makes you feel good about yourself.  Don't settle!  Hang in there!  

What have you found to be a negative side effect when it comes to the job search?

Time to Reinvent Yourself at Work?

Chances are, you won't know when it's time to hit "restart" when it comes to work.  Most of the time, we plug along and then, when it's too late, we realize that it might be time for a fresh start.

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin learned this recently as he was forced to resign.  It was time to go.  

Science tells us that we often don't see ourselves- physically, socially, etc. as others see us.  I had a hard reality check a few years ago when- gasp, a family photo showed me that I was balding.  "Why didn't you tell me?" I asked my wife as she chuckled.  The whole family then proceeded to tell me that it's been happening for years.  They collectively taught me that I wasn't seeing myself as others did.  Humbling and funny all at the same time!

The truth is, there are times when we need to reboot and start over. After all, it's better to see reality as it is.  Sometimes that means change.

Axe, the body-spray brand, is doing just this with its branding campaign.  Out with the raunchy ads and in with a more "modern masculinity".  It was time to change.

Download The Free Daily Planning Sheet

This is the planning page we suggest using every day.

Powered by ConvertKit

So how do you know if it's time to reinvent yourself and change it up at work?  You could-

a) ask someone you respect if you're getting stale or ...

b) listen to any stirrings in your heart that it might be time to go or even ...

c) do a "switching analysis" to see if you applied for a different job, what it would gain for you and what you would lose.

This is a healthy process.  I met recently with someone who felt stuck.  She shared with me that her passion was to do something different.  I had never thought of her doing anything but her current role (i.e. I had placed her expertise in a box) but after talking about it, my respect for her swelled as I witnessed someone who still wanted to grow and contribute ... but in a different assignment.  That's self-discernment that any boss would appreciate.

Is it time to reinvent yourself at work?

Your Career Deserves More Listening

There's a real debate about careerism today: to hustle or not to hustle. One one side of the ring is best-selling author Jon Acuff.  His new book, Do Over, makes a case that hustling is a core element to anyone's life having meaning. 

Acuff, in being interviewed on Expert Interview said this, "I think that one of the phrases I often talk about is that hustle is fuel, it’s the fuel that makes you actually do the things you want to do."  Others describe hustle as the drive to be more and climb the ladder of success.  

Standing on the other side of the ring is Jeff Goins who interviewed Amy Porterfield on his show, The Porfolio Life.  Neither is a fan of hustling to find your life's work but rather, a soft combination of listening and hard work.  

Listening... most of us aren't too good at that and when it comes to something as valuable as our careers, we rarely know how to marry the two.

Consider listening as a career advantage that equips you to do any of the following:

  • Identify when you are hungry for a change
  • Surface the reasons why you love what you do
  • Discern the length of time you will stay where you are
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Reflect on your day

In short, listening is important, very important.  It's a spiritual act that can serve as the percussion underneath your daily work.  

I know this from experience.  As a person of faith, listening takes centerstage whenever I feel stale or when I'm not giving my very best to my organization.  I ask myself things like, "How much fuel is left in the tank," or "Do I love what I do?"

Your career deserves the gift of listening.  Listen to those you serve and to the stirrings in your heart.  

The Spirituality of Letting Go

Wives are great at helping their husbands focus on what really matters.  I'm not sure if the same applies to husbands but here's how choices often look in the St.Pierre house:

  • Work late or attend Thomas' soccer game...
  • Call my mom or watch another episode of Alphas..
  • Prepare for a presentation or play video games... 

My wife Cary recently "gave" me a gift of focus.  We were debriefing a class that I taught on missionary spirituality when she said, "You really need to focus on one thing and then become an expert in it." 

I couldn't agree more.  The fact is, I've been struggling with various blogging themes since school began and as a result, my blog's posts have been less frequent. 

The problem wasn't that she was right (she was) but that I have three or four things that I'm really passionate about.   I guess I don't want to let go of the two or three interests in favor of the one.

That's probably the Resistance kicking in, to reference Steven Pressfield. 

This is God at work.  When we have competing priorities, we often have choices to make. The one option isn't, "I'll take them all, thanks!"  Choosing all leads to overwhelm and doing a ton of things only fairly well. God calls us to be excellent and not "fairly well" at the roles on our plate.  

A spiritual discernment of your project list will lead you to make better choices and be happier as a result.  Sure, you'll only become an expert at one thing but that's no so bad. 

This week, what do you need to let go of in order to become the expert that God wants you to be? 

P.s. I'll be unveiling in the coming months the new themes of The Daily Saint as well as some new side projects that I'm very excited about.  Stay tuned! 

Photo by FDP 

A Surefire Way to Discern God's Will- at Home and at Work
Here's a quick post for those at a crossroads at home or at work.  Seems that many friends are trying to make a big decision and struggling to find the right formula for a clear, clean choice.  Consider this prayer from Thomas Merton:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. There will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

I've read a handful of Merton books and I find that his prayer speaks volumes.  Even better, Merton recommends the following 'system' for your discernment:

STEP ONE: Articulate what you want and desire.  Do this via prayer, journaling or through a private conversation with someone you trust.  Don't cast your net too wide but keep your circle to a minimum.  Negative feedback on your ambitions can squash even the most positive of us.  When I do this, I simply tell God what I want and trust that He hears the desires of my heart.  Luke 12:34 provides some good reference: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

STEP TWO: Seek God's will.  Merton does not believe in a vending machine kind of God- put your desire in and then get a little present come out.  This step is about finding context.  Another way to look at this is to put some backdrop into your photo: it makes all of the difference.  Talk to God and ask Him what He wants for your life.  Read sacred literature and talk to those who are wise in terms of decision making.  You'll often "hear" God's direction through their point of view.

STEP THREE: Align your desire with God's will.  Merton looks at this as a kind of alignment.  Think of this step as two cars driving along the same road, drafting from one another and enjoying the benefits of not being alone.  The key is in finding the road, then God does the rest.

I've used this very simple formula many times and it works time and time again.  Recently, I was able to make a huge decision but it came after several months of discernment, prayer and reflection.  Merton's formula can work for you too- just give it a try!

Photo by s-revenge