As a society, our view of work is broken.
On the one hand, we may see work as a burden, a paycheck, a necessary evil. We bemoan Mondays and celebrate Fridays. Many employees count the minutes until happy hour, when they can commiserate over their day. Oblivious managers, lazy coworkers, and fruitless meetings are typical discussion topics.
These are not mere caricatures. Gallup reports that only one-third of employees are engaged at work, defined as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.” Despite spending most of their waking hours at work, few employees derive joy and meaning from it.
On the other hand, we may place too much of our identity in our work. I’m not just talking about Type A workaholics. Certainly, such individuals may fit the bill. But questions of identity are more widespread.
In our competitive society, we face enormous pressure to perform. As Henri Nouwen writes in Life of the Beloved, we live in “a world constantly trying to convince us that the burden is on us to prove that we are worthy” of respect, acceptance, and even love. Much of that burden is tied to our occupations.
Distorted perspectives on work are a reflection of our broken humanity. But it needs not be that way. We believe that change is possible, and that both personal and organizational change starts with individuals.
Work, Meaning, and Identity
PurposeRedeemed aims to help readers answer with conviction three critical questions:
- Where is my source of significance?
- How do I celebrate that which is good?
- Am I motivated by passion or glory?
These questions address issues of identity and impact—in short, what you might call purpose. We believe that vocation, while not the be-all and end-all, is one expression of our purpose and a great opportunity to advance human flourishing. We invite you to join us as we explore how purpose intersects with work, leadership, business, and career development.
Our hope is to inspire a countercultural view of work that affirms the dignity of every individual and drives sustainable community impact. This new blog intends to be a small step in that direction.