Job Crafting

By Steve Becker

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Our vocation is for this time and place. Our work life is to be not just a job or career but an integral part of our Father’s creative and sanctifying work. It takes grace and ingenuity to take the job we currently have and recreate it.

One example comes from a Yale study on job crafting and looks at the cleaning crew in a university hospital. While many of these workers viewed their job as mundane and even demeaning, others saw it as valuable and rewarding. For them, cleaning hospital rooms was a calling.

One room housed a comatose patient in rehab waiting to emerge from her coma. Each time a particular worker cleaned the room, she’d take down all the framed paintings and rearrange them. She hoped moving them would spark something, speeding up the patient’s recovery.

“It’s not part of my job,” she explained, “but it’s a part of me.”

She described herself as a healer because she creates safe, sterile spaces where patients can heal. She, along with like-minded coworkers, had creatively expanded their roles.

Crafting their jobs provided them greater meaning and purpose. But, their personal satisfaction wasn’t the end they were after; it was the outcome of doing something of value to individuals and society.

We craft our jobs by adapting the tasks we perform, our workplace relationships, and the way we think about our work. The Christian perspective of work has the greatest and most resilient impact in an ever-changing economy. The perspective of working for our Father changes everything.

Question to Ponder: How can you craft your job to be a better fit for your gifts and for your organization? Ask the Lord what he might have in mind.

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