Careers on the Beach: Should the New Year Mean New Work?

New Year’s is always acatalyst for talk of the future, considering your life, and deciding where you want to go in the coming year. I am always amazed to look around the web and see the pure volume of what is written this time of year on finding a new job! The older I get, the more tired I grow of cold weather, so when I came across this article this morning I had to laugh:

Frankly, I couldn’t take the piece seriously when I really thought about it; I was a little too bothered by the picture of the nice laptop sitting on the beach. Can you really do that? Wouldn’t you get sand in your computer?

Iam just finishing up a review for Scot McKnight’s recent book, One.Life. I am looking forward to posting a great interview with him in my new “Five Good Answers” section of the website that will launch next week. (I already have some interesting interviews scheduled for January and February). Scot writes about vocation in a very compelling way in his new book. It ran parallel to some conversations I have had with friends over the holidays who are hoping for new work (pursuing thier own “work on the beach”), so talk of career has been on my mind a bit.

The most common complaint I hear from my friends about their jobs has nothing to do with hours or money (or location); it is that they find no meaning or joy at work. Truthfully, life is too short to be miserable at your job and if you find no joy in your vocation then chances are good that you aren’t doing what you were made to do. In this economy, not all of us have the option of doing what we love during work hours. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t pursue those things on our own time in order to really begin laboring toward purpose and fulfillment in such an important area of our life. I hope you’llspend a moment to consider a couple of my favorite quotes as you take inventory of your own work-life over the next few days and plan for 2011:

“… The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet [emphasis added].”
Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC

“Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

While few of us will find ourselves with a laptop on a beach this time next year – with some dreaming, planning and hard work, we can all discover ourselves a bit closer to that “deep gladness”, meaning, and “aliveness” that we long for in our work… So, what is your “career on the beach”?

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