If you are like most, you spend more than half your waking hours at your job.
Recent surveys found that as many as 87 percent of Americans don’t like their jobs.* Many report they suffer from burnout and hold negative feelings for their supervisor or coworkers. While working at a job you hate is never easy, you can take steps to strengthen your faith, manage your emotions, and remain hopeful amid a difficult situation. Here are “ten commandments” that will help you manage a challenging job or supervisor.
1.Recognize that your steps are directed by God.
God’s Word tells us, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23, NLT). God appointed you to your current position to fulfill a divine purpose in your life or in the lives of your coworkers or supervisor. Trust God to fulfill His purposes in and through you.
2. Honor God and those in authority over you.
“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered” (1 Timothy 6:1). Your attitude toward your supervisor speaks volumes in the workplace. Don’t compromise your Christian witness through rebellion, sullenness, or disrespect.
3. Use the time to hone your skills, talents, and abilities.
Each job brings with it opportunities for growth. You may learn new skills or further develop existing talents and abilities. If your company offers training or courses, take advantage of them. Sometimes the growth is task-oriented; at other times, the skills acquired come from learning to manage challenging relationships.
4. Maintain your performance.
Regardless of how much you dislike your job, be sure to do your work and do it well. Set personal goals for yourself within the workplace. Diligence and excellence will help you in your present and future position.
5. Exercise to release stress.
Cope with stress through regular exercise. Regular exercise improves your mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and improves your health. Consider going for a walk on your lunch break, joining a gym, or taking long walks in the evening with your spouse. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!
6. Learn communication and relationship skills.
Some job stress can be relieved through effective communication and improved relational skills. Communicate to your supervisor and coworkers that you want to be part of the team. Offer suggestions and ideas when appropriate. Build bridges not walls.
7. Seek God’s will for your job.
Sometimes God places us in specific jobs to teach us a skill or Biblical principle. Once learned, He releases us to move on and into a position more suited to our temperament and talent. Seek God’s perfect timing for leaving your present position and avoid rash decisions or quitting on a whim, based on emotions.
8. Avoid gossip, backbiting, and slander.
Avoid gossip, slander, or criticizing your boss to, or in front of, others. What you share can be used against you in the future, tarnishing both your witness and reputation. Limit conversations to neutral and appropriate topics.
9. Be as wise as serpents but as innocent as doves.
Sometimes disputes or issues arise that require the intervention of human resources or the personnel department—issues such as discrimination or sexual harassment. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you may need to file a formal complaint or grievance. Walk wisely and circumspectly. Seek out Biblical counsel before advancing down this path.
10. Don’t burn bridges.
No matter how difficult your job or how awful your supervisor and coworkers, when the time comes to leave, resist the urge to tell your employer off or to say what you really think. Leave with honor and dignity.
By following these “ten commandments,” you can make the best of a difficult situation. But most importantly, you’ll please God and walk away with your Christian witness intact. And who knows, you may be the one God uses to draw your supervisor or coworkers into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.