As you can tell from the title of this post, I’m currently in the transition phase between two jobs. It’s exciting for me as I anticipate what it would be like with new responsibilities, new colleagues, and a new working environment.
During my transition phase, a few thoughts came into my mind and I hope to share some things I’ve learnt about myself. For those of you who are in the same boat as me, I hope this article will give you three pitfalls to avoid during your transition phase.
1. Avoid the temptation to not give in your best
After most of us have handed in our resignation letter, we may be tempted to think, why do I need to work as hard as before? After all, all it doesn’t matter anymore because I’m not working for hard for my future in my present company. Why should I work hard and let all the credit go to someone else? Someone once told me that he observed and found that most people were working hard for their next job instead of focusing on doing their present job well. Is this our attitude? I must admit this happened to me too.
We may have a new company, and a new boss, but our ultimate boss remains the same — God. Knowing that it is God who we’re working for should motivate us to do our best for Him, no matter where or what circumstance we are in.
Colossians 3:23-24 tells us to work for God, not for Man. How does the Lord want this to be done? Would the Lord be pleased if with the work I did today? What would happen if He showed up? These are questions we should ask ourselves.
When we know that we are working for God, we will be motivated to do our best for Him, because we are doing it not for ourselves, nor our superiors but solely to please and glorify Him.
2. Avoid the temptation to gossip about your colleagues
Perhaps you have encountered a few difficult colleagues during your time at work. Perhaps now you may feel entitled to say all the things you couldn’t say before because you had to maintain good working relationships with them.
Nevertheless, the Bible still tells us to do everything out of love (1 Corinthians 16:14). Love covers a multitude of sins. Don’t repay those who have wronged you or seek to take matters into your own hands. The God who is at work in the universe also sees every tiny detail of our lives and He will take care of us.
3. Avoid the temptation to put all your hope in your new job
Family and friends will start to congratulate you on your new job and you start to wonder how life would be like at your new job.
We put a lot of hope in our new job — we hope that our new boss would be better than the previous, we hope that our colleagues would be kinder than the former, we hope that our new job will give greater job satisfaction, we hope that our salary will be higher than our current pay. There are many reasons why we find a new job and they may be because of a genuine need.
Sadly, the truth is that in every situation, there will still be problems of the same kind because we live in a sin-stained world. We will meet difficult people and our best attempts at work may not come to fruition. People will disappoint us, our work may be mundane. It would be naive to think that a new job would solve all the problems we have, or give us the utopian world we so dream of.
Your new job may offer you job satisfaction, but full and lasting satisfaction can only be found in God (Psalm 16:11). Your new salary may offer relief, but we may not be satisfied and want more after all. As St. Augustine says, our hearts are restless until they find their true rest in God. Pay rise or not, better boss and colleagues or not, only God is our ultimate treasure (Matthew 13:44-46) and delight (Psalm 16:2) in our life.
Unless we find our true satisfaction in God, we may end up hopping from one place to another, always looking for greener pastures or “the next big thing” and always being dissatisfied.
At the end of the day, I thank God for whatever job I have and whatever new situation may bring, I know that my true contentment and hope lies only in God.