It’s obvious with the shift of technology and the internet, the paradigm of the 9-5 work day is highly challenged with more creative ways of pursuing a career / calling. The high standard of living in Hawaii makes it nearly impossible for the majority to rely on solely one source of income. Though this truth may seem problematic to many, I see this as an opportunity to explore new methods of custom crafting your career to pursue your calling.
I found that in the past when I had worked on the mainland where one job for me would generously cover all my expenses and then some, I lost my drive to go beyond my 9-5 and simply lacked motivation to learn new things. I simply got way too comfortable.. and for years easily went through the motions because it was easy. My poor spirit was not to be blamed on the circumstances alone but also the condition of my heart. During that time, my priority was not Jesus or serving others.. but more so me, myself, and I which quickly got boring, frustrating, and empty.
Being in relationship with Christ was, is, and will always be a game changer. When it comes down my personal passions, I can summarize them with the following words: church (Jesus), community (people), and creation (multimedia). The fact that it was very challenging to support my basic necessities through one job made me tap into other areas, some that preexisted while others that had yet to be unearthed. God used this scenario in itself to remind me of this truth: That I need to continuously have a posture and position of a student, not claim to know it all, and constantly be learning through others who are more experienced while also doing the work to read, research and practice.
The Lord taught me something profound through this process, and I actively sought opportunities that were somewhat related while some were more indirect. I needed to be open and learn how to respectfully prioritize, juggle, and manage my time, energy, workflow regarding balance of faith, ministry, work, health, and rest. By the grace of God, I’m now in a position where my current commitments as well as my flexibility of time and ability to work wherever and whenever (thank you internet) makes this possible, so much to where one “hustle” fuels another “hustle” to the point where they all harmoniously work together and even enhance one another. With that, I can say that my devotion to each of these areas are collectively fulfilling, rewarding, and fruitful.
How does custom crafting your career in pursuit of your calling work for you? Here are some suggestions that I would consider:
1) BOTTOM LINE: Cover Your Costs
It’s awesome to have a range of passions, but by the end of the day, if your expenses aren’t covered, then you’ll be in deep kimchee. Be creative in doing what it takes to ensure that on a month-to-month basis you can cover your rent, food, cell phone, etc. Though we are to live on faith, I feel that God also honors our acknowledgement of embracing reality, being practical, responsible, and being in this world but not necessarily of it.. given that there are rules to play by. We can’t escape rent.. we can’t escape taxes.. the list goes on and on.. get my drift? You might find that filling in the gaps through taking some side jobs or finding other ways to pay your bills will open up doors for new passions / opportunities that you never knew were possible!
2) Use What God’s Given You to Find Similarities, Differences, and Intersections
When we fall into the comparison trap, we lose focus on the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has specifically given to us to be great stewards and carry on the His ministry in a spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially sound and healthy way. Use what you got and be willing to go outside the box! Through this, you will realize similarities, differences, and intersections where though you might wear a few different hats, they are all empowering and fuel one another.
3) Be Willing to Work Odd Hours
This doesn’t necessarily mean having to start your work shift at 1am and end at 9am (though this might work for you!).. I’m blessed to have a somewhat different schedule from the norm through working for a church which allows me to take Mondays and Fridays off. When most people are resting over the weekends, I’m busy serving and working, and while others are beginning their work weeks, I’m enjoying a Sabbath or using that time to actively pursue other side opportunities. My ability to work from home or coffee shops on certain days, or even well into the night allows me to make the most of my days in a way that works for me. I encourage you to prioritize your big rocks while creatively using your margins for what best accommodates your wiring and flow.
4) Break Away from Cliques
The moment that we get too comfortable with the same people, same environments, and same routines is a huge loss of learning, growing, and becoming. Embrace change. Yes it is important to have our home base, but meeting new people, exploring new environments, and breaking routines actually makes us more of an asset especially when we naturally gravitate back to the people and places of familarity. The more open we are, the more God has to show and grow us. Through prayer and processing, we can determine if these new areas can maximize not only our opportunities, but the impact we can make as a whole.
5) Learn How to Respectfully Shift Gears
Something profound happens when we keep our cell phones in our pockets while speaking to people.. all of our attention, eye contact, energy, inflections, gesticulations, etc. are fully invested into what lies in front of us. The same goes for when we are on site and on a project that our focus must be fully devoted to and all in that speaks forth a culture of honor. Live honorably and respectfully (preaching to myself!). Once any of these aspects are compromised, then the question of where our heart lies, our level of trust, and even our output of work will come into play. Shift in a way where your transition from one area to another is clean, and there you’ll find that the intersections of your mixed plate can be a delight to many!
In conclusion, it’s obvious that the paradigm of how we work, serve, and give is taking on new forms and shapes. When we can custom craft a solution that works well, we then can discover and innovate careers and more so, pursue our God-given callings in a whole new way that is not only effective … but also relevant, influential, and purposeful!