In doing some research earlier this year for a client’s blog, I came across a 2014 Gallup Poll survey that showed nearly 70 percent of U.S. workers aren’t engaged with their work.
When I searched the term again more recently, I came across updated Gallup news about a staggering 87 percent of employees worldwide not being engaged.
Hating Work at 35?
Given those stories, I wasn’t surprised by the story on my LinkedIn feed about the age at which people start hating work.
“Work begins to lose its luster at age 35, according to a survey of UK employees, with one in six workers older than 35 saying they were unhappy at the office,” it began.
Later, it added news about a recent study in the U.S. which found the workplace itself can be a challenge: “Nearly one in five face a hostile or threatening work environment, and only 38 percent of workers say their job offers good opportunities for advancement (and that shrinks for older employees).”
I know what it’s like to hate your job, although I also must say that every job is a learning experience.
Had I not endured the position for which I had a profound distaste, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue the freelance career that has been so rewarding for so long.
Money Isn’t Nirvana
Personally, I think one of the worst barometers for choosing a career is the salary potential
Who cares if you’re socking away a small fortune if you are miserable every day? Not to mention reaping the “rewards” of high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and other health problems that could be leading you to an early grave?
In August, I edited a website blog for Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
In it, he reviewed five terrible reasons to enter vocational ministry, such as trying to escape the pressures of a “secular” job or fulfilling family expectations.
The bottom line: ministry is a calling, not just another vocation. The same can be said for any line of work.
It’s a Calling
I have never worked in a church, nor do I have any such aspirations. I have seen up close the pressures and unrealistic expectations that are part of any pastorate or church staff position.
But, as Rainer pointed out, “For those who enter vocational ministry for the right reasons, the work can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.”
The secret is in the calling.
I think that’s why at an age when many people are looking for the nearest rocking chair, I keep on going. I believe I’m supposed to write and edit.
Now, anyone who says that you can keep doing the same kind of work no matter what age you are isn’t telling the whole truth.
Though I still do some magazine and web site articles, over the past decade I have gradually shifted to more book ghosting and editing.
Although the latter still has deadlines, they aren’t quite as frequent or nerve-wracking.
What the aforementioned Gallup surveys say to me is that there is a raft of people who are working solely for the money. No wonder they are unhappy and unengaged.
I have often heard the saying that if you can find someone to pay you to do what you love, you will never have to work another day in your life.
That’s a stretch. Even though I enjoy what I do, there are days when I feel drained and ready to collapse at the end of the afternoon.
Still, there’s a kernel of truth in that adage. If you’re going to spend a major part of your life at work, it makes a whole lot of sense to first figure out what brings you joy and fulfillment. Then go do it.