You’re not alone. In fact, a recent study by iHire reports that 61.9% of American workers are considering a major job change in 2021.
This sentiment seems to fly in the face of a struggling economy, when many professionals are working from home one year into the pandemic. Unemployment numbers are up. We’ve watched coworkers laid off. And yet what lies at the center of this discontent?
The last year has turned most of our expectations for stalwart institutions and traditions on their heads. Government. Law enforcement. Education. Public health. Public service. Societal contracts that we’ve relied upon have crumbled.
If we can’t trust society to hold itself together in basic ways, a “secure” career begins to feel flimsy too. Any measurement that we used to make looking outside suddenly seems like a guess at best.
The compass for choice is shifting from what’s outside us, to what’s inside us. What do I bring to this world that matters? How can I teach my children to choose well?
When the world around us feels less stable, the stability of our families, careers, and communities come into stark relief because we need something sustaining. We need to feel grounded in something reliable and true. Workplace slights cannot be ignored. The to-do list as long as one’s arm, if uninspired before 2020, can feel intolerable.
Because whose life are you living?
Frederick Buechner, educator and theologian, writes, “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”– Frederick Buechner
Deep gladness. Buechner doesn’t utter a word about safety or security. He talks of joy intersecting with need. And here is where our culture is sorely lacking, and where we could take stock and build new and different stores. For ourselves. For our children. For our communities.
The past year has shaken me enough to question the ends of money, prestige, and other guises for security. All of us have bills to pay, but maybe we’re intuiting a different way. Maybe we sense hope on the other side of the pandemic, on the other side of social divisions and turmoil. Maybe we sense a better way to make our living during this time. And for this I say, yes please.
Lisa Groen is an author, part-time mountain monk, and instructor of the the course Figuring Out What’s Next: Discover your new direction without blowing up your life (or breaking the bank).