Today, an announcement came that I’ve been expecting for just under a year. The company I used to work for is being shut down.
Last December, I made the decision to leave that company. There were many reasons, not the least of which was I wasn’t happy with the way the company was being managed. Concerns raised by staff, including myself, who had been at the company for years were ignored by newly hired “senior staff.” Micromanagement, mismanagement and favoritism ran rampant. And secret decisions made by the “senior staff” lowered the collective morale of the employees — including decisions to hire people for “senior” positions that just happened to be in their “social circles.”
But one comment from a superior struck me: He said that if I wanted to advance at the company, I was going to have to “toot my own horn” because no one was going to toot it for me. And that was absolutely true at that company. Now, this may seem like a typical corporate saying, but around that time I was really focused on humility with regards to my faith. How was I supposed to focus on “tooting my own horn” at work when I was trying to become more humble in life in general?
Not to mention that kind of mentality leads to a highly competitive work environment — in a not-so-good way. Instead of focusing on the clients and teamwork, we were individually focused on showing off what I did or could do.
I’ve mentioned before that since we began attending Destiny Worship Center, I’ve been more focused on putting into practice religious principles in my whole life — not just on Sundays at church. It must have been a combination of the pastor’s ability to make the bible relate to life today and my disillusionment with the company I was working for that made me open my ears and hear that God was telling me it was time to move on.
During his sermon this past Sunday, the pastor made a statement that reinforced that I made the right decision. He said that during the VP debate last week, both candidates were Catholic but only one said that he could not separate his religion from his politics. Pastor said that you can’t — and shouldn’t — separate your religion from your entire life. We can’t live a life focused on Jesus, but conform to worldly ideas like “toot your own horn to get ahead.” We are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world — and important distinction.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 12:2
It is a big test of faith to make the decision to ignore the supposed tenets of the corporate world and follow God’s instruction. Now, it’s not as big as packing up and moving across the world to do missions, but as this post so eloquently stated, we need boring Christians, too. Nevertheless, as I’ve learned, the yield is great.
The job I have now gives me more autonomy (and more responsibility), and it allows me to have a greater impact than before. But what’s more, I am able to do things outside of work — like lead a small group, teach dance classes and perform with the local college — without worrying about getting an urgent email at 8:00 PM. I have more time for family and friends, less stress, and less anger and frustration that used to take away from my focus on my faith.
Today’s announcement that my old company is closing is just one more proof point that I made the right decision last December. But while it isn’t a surprise, it is discouraging. I learned a lot when I worked there, and I work and built relationships with some great people. I hope and pray that the people affected by the closing of my old company land on their feet, and that they seek God’s direction for their lives. I also hope that the “senior staff” who refused to listen to me and the other employees when we raised issues and concerns will learn from their mistakes and use those experiences to positively impact the next place they go.