How to Determine Your Life’s Work:
One of the biggest decisions a person can make as they prepare to leave their home and enter “real life” is a career choice. You can attend a job fair and walk from booth to booth or talk to a guidance counselor. Sometimes you can search around online or google a ranking on the 25 highest paid jobs (https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-paying-jobs). What does God say about finding the right job for you? Whether you are 22 and starting out or older and looking for a change of scenery, I put together a list of some helpful principles from God’s Word to help with the decision-making process.
Pick a vocation that pleases God. This goes without saying, and, of course, this covers a lot of ground. Find a job where you can both honor God and serve people. Matthew 22:37–39 tells us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself.” This applies to all of life. Find a job that builds up God’s kingdom, whether engineering auto parts, policing the streets, or caring for people in pain. There are a lot of options.
Next, pick a vocation that is the best use of the skills and gifts God has given you. What do I mean by this? First, ask, “How has God designed me?” God says to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God had a unique design for Jeremiah. God has uniquely gifted you as well. What do you excel at? What comes easily to you?
It’s also very important to pick a vocation that will provide for you and your family. God does not want us to be dependent on other people long term. First Thessalonians 4:12 says, “So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” Sometimes this isn’t feasible, but as you plan looking forward, pick a job that has a good market and will adequately pay for your and/or your family’s needs.
Just as equally crucial as finding a well-paying job is picking a vocation that you will love doing and that will invigorate you. Ask this question: “If I could do anything, what would it be?” Now, remember the principles I explained above, but if possible, pursue it! Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, “Any person…be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 2:24 adds, “A man can do nothing better than to find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.” These will give you a start as you begin weighing the possibilities.
Though none of us can know the hidden divine will of God, we can listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Pray and ask for God to open up areas of opportunity, and then follow His leading. The peace of God can be your guide as you navigate this exciting time of life!