We may not be in the type of work we love when we are young because some factors come into play in deciding our work or career. Usually we believe that what we want to do should be closely related to what we studied in the college or university. Or, it may be where there is an employment opportunity or where the remuneration is attractive or even where we have a personal connection, which is a common factor in Nigeria.
Many people find themselves in such situations and only try to encourage themselves to hang on to the work. This is one reason many find themselves drifting in the labour market. Many spend decades doing what they don’t enjoy. People confine themselves to such jobs and patiently wait for their retirement. This is why many workers are average and do not have job satisfaction. This type of work limits their innovative abilities, and their talents and gifts may not be properly deployed. Therefore, they hardly distinguish themselves.
Some workers know full well that their current employments are just work-in-progress and are on their way to somewhere. Many a time, such jobs may be lucrative and therefore they stay put because of the financial benefits as every worker has some financial needs. You acquire money but money cannot solve stress and emotional problems.
When I left the university in 1964, I had no other choice but to be employed as a pharmacist because I studied Pharmacy. Even getting into the pharmacy school was just because I did not know exactly what else to do with my Physics, Chemistry and Zoology subjects at the Higher School Certificate level. My subject combination was best for Medicine but I had no interest in Medicine.
Consequently, I found myself graduating as a pharmacist and getting into some professional services as medical representative, retail pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, production pharmacist, and even military pharmacist during the Nigeria-Biafra war. I found myself working for American, British, Lebanese and Nigerian companies. In all these, I did not have job satisfaction, neither did I know the direction I was going in life.
From 1964 to 1978, I drifted from one job to the other, not knowing what I actually wanted to do and could not imagine how my working life would end. There is no doubt that today many people are in similar situations. They may not be drifting from job to job as I did because opportunities are limited today but they don’t know where they are going and are not enjoying what they are doing.
It was much later in life that my spiritual eyes were opened. When I started reading my Bible more seriously, I discovered that despite the wrong decisions and choices I made , God did not abandon me because He had already planned what I would do for Him. Even in cases of gross disobedience, He showed me mercy and continued to demonstrate His love for me despite being stiff-necked.
God allowed the Israelites to wonder about in the wilderness for 40 years for a journey that should have taken only 40 days, to teach them some lessons. In the same way, He caused me to work in various places as part of preparation for the assignment He had destined for me, even before I was born. I realised that each of His children has been called to do something special and it is our responsibility to seek it, find it and be faithful to it.
We need to have a close relationship with God in order to succeed. Moses was called to lead the people of Israel. Isaiah and Jeremiah were called to be prophets. Paul was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Let us not forget evangelists like Billy Graham and Reinhard Bonnke. In the same way, people have been called into various services or ministries. I believe that God has implanted in every person a purpose which they are appointed to accomplish. This calling can be pursued in a range of occupations, careers or professions.
Unfortunately, many fail to find their true work because they are not serious with seeking the will of the Creator. Some depend on counsellors, teachers, parents, friends, guardians or even pastors for direction. These are good sources but the best and true Source is the Creator. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”