My name is Michael Dean Thomas. I have experience in investment banks, a Big 4 audit firm and a startup. I have worked in London, Singapore and South Africa. Welcome to my blog!
I see people drifting in life wherever I go. People grasping for things to cling onto in their careers. From millennials working at macdonalds, to corporate burnouts and to suicidal artists, each day human life is wasted on a global scale!
I have come to a conclusion: most Christian and secular career advice simply doesn’t permanently end pointless work experiences. We are so used to secular career thinking that we have even stopped believing that drifting is abnormal. Drifting is like a recurring illness that causes us to jump from one pointless career to the next.
We Need a Radical Solution to a Global Problem!
Careers start to drift when we stop believing in our work. Our intuition that something is wrong is covered by entertainment, cars, television, holidays, food, profits and sport in a mad rush to succeed. Drifters frequently switch jobs simply to earn a bit more.
Quick Fixes Don’t Work
After drifting for a while, we find ourselves at a career dead-end. We need to change career because we get fed up, the industry changes or our situations change. Panic strikes when we realize:
I Don’t Know How to Change Career!
Before making a career shift, we evaluate the trade-offs of trying something new. If the risks are too great, we end up doing nothing.
Drifters Build a Database of Reasons for Not Moving Forward
Despondency is the next step for those stuck at a career dead-end. Depression! Regret! Paying the bills becomes more important than working in the unique way we are made.
Drifters Are Driven by Uncertainty
Drifters often take the first career opportunity that comes along. Unfortunately, the Purposeless Cycle usually starts again in their new career. They start to drift, hit a dead-end and then become despondent.
Drifters Feel Powerless
Despondency deepens into an infectious question: “is it worth trying to change career when work itself seems pointless?” When this question goes unanswered, we become self-absorbed and cynicism spreads like a plague.
Do You Need a New Career Strategy?
Jesus told a story about a rich young man who set his heart on moving to an exotic location and having fun. He asked his father for his inheritance and did what he pleased. There was an unexpected famine in the land. His money ran out and he got a job on a pig farm.
We Work on Pig Farms When we Work Without God in our Careers
Every day spent laboring painfully on pig farms give us an opportunity to wonder who we are. Is there a God and why has He allowed us to be so unhappy? Gradually the secular hype disappears and we come to an important realization:
Our Careers are Built on Mud: Money, Status & Power
Is there an alternative to working in the secular way? We may not know much about God, let alone what it means to work in His Kingdom. We may need to answer these important questions first:
Is God Real and Does He Care About my Work?
To find out more about God we may buy books, go to church and speak with friends. The academic route, while interesting, only gives us a glimpse of what God is like, but does not create life-changing encounters with Him. Theology, in itself, does little to help our careers.
God’s Kingdom is Not a Theory
We may then approach God like a mental formula for success. We try to describe God by a hodgepodge framework of Christian principles. Working from principles turns out to be an unreliable, oversimplification of how God’s Kingdom works. God’s Kingdom is dynamic and progressive. When God speaks the world changes.
We Learn to Encounter God by Encountering God
Jesus said “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13 NLT) The pivotal moment comes when we stop asking other people about God, and approach Him directly. The young man in Jesus’ story turned his back on the pig farm, lost his pride and asked God for a job. You can ask God for a job, by saying to Him:
“Heavenly Father, I am tired of working in the meaningless, secular way. I would like to work in the way that you made me. What career would you like me to pursue?”
Stage 1: Seed stage. God decides what you should do in His Kingdom. We need to recognize when He speaks and understand what His message means. Our primary activity in the seed stage is asking God for understanding of the change He calls us to make in the world. These resources might help you get started:
Stage 2: Rooting stage. You are in the rooting stage if you understand the change that God is calling you to make in the world, but aren’t sure which products or services to use to create that change. The primary activity during the rooting stage is in seeking products and services that will enable you to change the world on a sustainable basis in line with God’s Word. Here are some blog posts that may help if you are in the rooting stage.
Stage 3: Fruit-bearing stage. The final stage involves knocking on doors in your new career. The work that God gives fuses our heart, mind, soul and energy in achieving His purpose. The emphasis in this stage is creating as much impact as possible. Here’s a blog post that will help you in the fruit-bearing stage.
Faith + Improving the Lives of Other People
= Belief in What You Do!
If you are struggling with your career, I highly suggest you take a look at my book. It is a 40-day plan to help you change career, from the time God sends you a seed in the form of Words until it grows into products and services.
My Mission is to Help Christians Connect God’s Word to Their Careers and Break Free from the Secular System of Work!
I hope to create a website supporting Christians connecting God’s Word to their work. Subscribe to the blog if you’d like to part of the revolution!
I am traveling all over the world. I’d love to meet you. Keep an eye on my travel page.