In Chapters 7-9 of Work, Love, Pray Diane Paddison encourages young women to work hard, discover strengths, and play to passions.
Of course, it can take time – even years – to find the right career path. But no matter where we are in our professional journeys, we can ask ourselves some key questions:
- Do I enjoy what I do?
- What is the next step to advance my career goals?
- How do I gain leverage in the workplace?
Does this mean you never leave the office early? That you don’t have a life outside of work? That you are married to your job?
Of course not. Diane also encourages us to set healthy boundaries and strike the right balance – both at home and at work.
I think back to my early years as an associate in a large law firm. I didn’t have children, I had a supportive spouse, and I instantly loved the practice of law. So I worked hard. Probably a little too hard. I rarely said no, jumped at new projects, and always tackled the opportunity to learn something new.
But I also learned to set boundaries. I had dinner with my husband almost every night, even if it was late. I always took my full vacation. And I decided to embrace technology and abandon “face time.” (I realize “face time” isn’t a big deal anymore in most workplaces, but prior to the 24/7 technology revolution, hard work was often judged by burning the midnight oil in the office.) So, if a senior attorney or client needed to reach me after hours, I made sure they knew how to find me – and that I’d respond promptly.
By the time I had my first child, I had built some flexibility into my work schedule. Sure, I still struggled with the whole concept of balance, but by working hard at a job I enjoyed, establishing credibility, and setting boundaries (in addition to a heavy dose of grace!) I was able thrive at work and at home.
When we “play to our strengths” as Diane encourages, work is an opportunity to live out our God-given talents – not merely an attempt to survive.
Do you love what you do? What’s the next step in your career path? How will you work hard to earn respect and leverage?
[Please join us over at 4Word to continue the discussion]