God is not going to bless our mess. Too often times we know exactly what got us into a bad situation but our unwillingness to be uncomfortable and change those things is exactly what has us going around the same mountain year after year.
God strips you to equip you and He breaks you to make you. Jesus talked about not putting new wine in old wine skins. (Mathew 9:14-17) He said if you do this, the wineskin will break and the wine will run out, but if you put it in a new one it’ll be preserved. You wouldn’t cook tonight’s dinner in last nights dirty pot would you? We can’t expect new blessings with an old mindset.
Many times we go before God and cry out for Him to basically ignore our disobedience, sin, unwillingness to change and just bless our mess. It doesn’t work like that. This doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes but we certainly have to be willing to go back to the drawing board, fight to overcome bad habits, and be willing to be uncomfortable. Great things have never emerged from anyone’s comfort zone.
Anyone who does hiring will tell you, it’s hard to find good employees. We live in a time when folks act like they’re doing you a favor by showing up to work and it’s sad. You certainly don’t have to kill yourself working for someone else, but appreciating the gift of having a way to bring income into your household should be valued and respected.
If you have dreams of one day owning your own successful company, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to be a good employee. Every great Boss was once a great employee. So let’s address some basics that may seem like common sense to some, but in reality some people are never taught these things so that’s why I’m sharing it. What makes me the expert? I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I do have a decade of experience teaching employment skills, hiring, managing, supervising, and eight years of self-employment so I’d at least consider myself a reliable source.
Accepting a Job
When you accept an offer of employment, realize what is actually happening. You are agreeing to preform the duties outlined in your job description and follow the company’s policies for an exchange of a certain amount of money (hourly/ annually). There are far too many folks who come into agreement with this written contract (which is everything most people don’t really read and just sign on multiple pages within the application) and don’t uphold their end of the bargain.
It’s extremely hard to fire someone who preforms the duties they agreed to and it is almost impossible to fire someone who does their duties well. Why? Because Unemployment Insurance costs money. The more people you fire, the more people collect and the more expensive it is to carry insurance. Employers are in the business of making making money, not loosing it. Employers seek to hire individuals that they think can become an asset, not a liability. Most companies evaluate their employees on a 90-day, 6-month, then annual basis. Within these evaluations are basic questions, do you or don’t you do the job you agreed to do?
If you agreed to preform certain duties and follow certain policies, the very least you can do to keep yourself employed is keep your word. Far too many people have no problem cashing a paycheck and not upholding their end of the bargain. Far too many people get a job, then behave like it’s an entitlement. One of the hardest lessons you will ever learn in the working world is that anyone can be replaced. If you are a person who strives to give 100% in everything you put your hands to? That will always work in your favor. If you’re not a person who strives to give 100%? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, but the least you should do is do what they’re paying you to do.
But I don’t really like my job, I only work there because I need money….
So what? Seriously, so what? Nobody told you that you had to like anything but if you have a need (income) which they (the job you don’t like) are providing to you and your household? Suck it up. Did you like going to school everyday? Do you like when the kids make a mess? Do you like paying bills? Nobody likes everything but there are things we have to do in order to provide for our household or fund our dreams. If you really are that bothered? Look for a different job. However, while you are employed at a place you don’t like? Show up with a good attitude and do what they’re paying you for. You may very well need that reference checked one day and although it is illegal for any company to give an opinion (non-factual information) about you , things like your attendance is factual. Sometimes a tone of voice or simply saying a person is not eligible for re-hire is all that a new potential employer needs to hear in order to make a decision about hiring you.
Every great Boss was once a great employee
A great Manager is one who has worked multiple positions within a company before getting promoted. A terrible Manager is normally one with no experience. Working your way up a ladder will teach you skills and lessons that you can’t obtain any other way. Some of the lessons you learn will be fair and some won’t be, but it’s important to have both so you know exactly what to do and what not to do.
For those of you who desire to be your own boss, be the kind of employee you’d want working for you. Would you continue to pay someone who had a bad attitude and was always doing the minimum necessary to get by? Take every opportunity you can to learn about the business and policy so that you know what to do when it’s time for you to run your company. Even if your job isn’t in the industry you desire to operate a company in, there are many things that are just standard for running a business of any kind.
Learn to be a person who accepts corrective feedback. There are far too many people who take it personally when someone offers them corrective feedback. If your supervisor is evaluating your job performance or offering corrective feedback about something in the work place, that is not a personal attack against you as a human being.
There is a huge difference between someone belittling you and correcting your job performance. The first time I had a supervisor pull me to the side, I felt bad. I felt like I screwed up. I however took heed to what she said and within the next three years following her pulling me aside, I was promoted twice.
Friendly & Friends
You do not get paid at any job to make friends. Most people get friendly with co-workers, invite them to weddings, they show up at funerals, and some you may even spend some recreation time with. In reality, you normally spend a lot of your time at work and you get friendly with folks. Your being friendly, should never blind you from the fact that you’re there to work or compromise your job performance. Professional Boundaries are extremely important. If you have ever supervised someone who was a friend or family member you know exactly what I’m talking about. Work is work, friendship is friendship, and not everyone has an easy time making that separation.
Simple Steps to being a good employee
- Show up on time, call if you’re running late, minimize tardiness
- Do your best to schedule your time off according to company policy
- Follow policy
- Have a good attitude
- Finish your shift responsibilities, don’t leave your work for other people to do
- Be a team player
- Put in a reasonable effort, do what they pay you to do
- Keep non-emergency personal calls/ texting to your break times. Nobody pays you to be on your phone and most companies have a cell phone policy you probably signed off on and didn’t really read
If you want to be one of those above and beyond employees? Ask if there’s anything else you can help out with once your work is done. It’s not that complicated folks, sometimes we need to change our perspective. For every shift that you get to work and generate income for your household, there is someone who wishes they had that same opportunity. If you don’t believe me, feel free to have a chat with anyone who is currently homeless or was recently released from a correctional facility and is now job searching.
What defines you?
Seems like a simple question, right? Normally when people are asked this question they begin to start listing all of the things in their lives that are important to them (i.e. being a mother or father, their job, their heritage, etc.). Generally those answers make sense. Those answers though are very generic. The reason why they’re generic is because you are first yourself before you are any of those things. Your spirit, your soul who you are in all of your nakedness, the you that you are when you are alone, the parts of you that think inside your own head, the emotions you feel, the pains and joys you carry, the characteristics and unique traits that define your personality, and who you are when it’s just you and God. Before you can be any of those other things, you are first yourself and if those other things no longer existed, you would still be.
In life, we often times get too caught up in things or what our life has become so much so that we forget who we are and I know plenty of people (myself included at times in my own life) that when the “things” that define us are gone? We no longer know who we are. This doesn’t mean that when terrible things happen we aren’t allowed to be sad, depressed (for a period of time), or hurt. There are times though that when people forget who and what they truly are entirely that when something terrible happens, they never come back from the place of being hurt, sad, or depressed. Did you know that men at retirement age have one of the highest rate/risk of suicide? Have you ever met a person that was once wealthy or famous and became sick, disabled, injured, or aged out of their fame or money? Have you ever met a man or woman unable to recover after a divorce? Have you ever met a parent unable to move on with their life after loosing a child? I personally know many of all of these people and at one point in time was one of them myself.
Pain is inevitable, the duration of your suffering is optional. You absolutely have the power to chose the outcome of many situations in your life. You may not be able to predict or control all of the circumstances that you will encounter but your response to them is absolutely within your control. Do you react in faith or do you react in fear? Do you use hope to cope or do you allow a terrible thing to knock you off your mark for the rest of your life? The truth of the matter is one day we will all give account to God for ourselves. Being a mother, father, sister, brother, movie star, rapper, football player, lawyer, doctor, minister, teacher, etc all means nothing on the day you stand before the throne. On that day we will each give account for ourselves and we don’t get to bring other people with us. But with that individuality also comes the individual unconditional love God has for each and everyone of us. He loves all of his creations and He absolutely is willing and capable of healing any pain you feel or turning around any circumstance you face. Many times though, He is not used for the cornerstone of the definition of ourselves and He is used like an emergency substitute in a football game when the quarterback gets injured or He gets used as the last resort genie in a bottle after a tragedy and then gets blamed for everything not going the way that we think it should ideally go.
Your status is not your identity and neither is your struggle. If you allow those things to define who and what you are then when those things no longer exist, what is left of you? Do not let society fool you into believing that you need certain material things or social status to be happy or valuable. You are a valuable being not because QTP said so, but because God said so. Every life is a gift, even a difficult one. We are entitled to nothing. Everything we have is on borrowed time and is a gift. Each gift does not come with a required time table, meaning the gift can be for a moment or for a life time. Even if a gift is for a moment, be thankful for the moment no matter if it was a single moment or a million moments and do not let a struggle or loss of a gift then become the defining factor of your life. If you still have a life? You still have a reason to live it.
You may not want to hear this, but sometimes we have to lose everything to figure out when we thought we had everything, we really didn’t have anything, and then when we lost what we thought was everything is exactly where we found something that ended up being everything that we ever needed.