I was talking with a friend the other day and sharing what few lessons I’ve learned in my short but colorful working career so far.
As I began to recount one experience after another, I remember saying that I wish I had learned this one particular lesson earlier:
You have greater chances of achieving career success, not by finding and landing that dream job, but by becoming a “dream steward” wherever you are.
To be clear, I wasn’t sharing this as an expert or someone who doesn’t struggle with bouts of career envy from time to time.
We were drawing a conclusion after looking at some Bible characters, who by one way or another, became great leaders and “successes” (despite their many flaws, and difficult experiences).
Moses. Joshua. Joseph. David. Daniel.
Who knew that a has-been prince would lead God’s people through years in the desert? That a shepherd boy would one day be king? That an exile would become a trusted political adviser?
These were men whose faithfulness in their responsibilities prior to their eventual leadership roles helped them to become better leaders later on.
That’s Joseph at Potiphar’s house and in prison, David as a shepherd guarding against lions and bears, Moses as a willing servant despite being a hesitant leader and a poor communicator.
Of course, I understand there are situations where wisdom dictates that we seek out a different work situation. But even then, one can still be a “dream steward” amid very difficult circumstances. That is, a person who takes responsibility, grows and cares for what he’s been given, and manages to deliver excellent results (oftentimes while many others in the same situation can’t).
The problem with “dream jobs” is it’s more often an illusion. Even personal experience validates this when we look at the lives of people we know and look up to who seem to have dream careers. For most of them, these careers “found” them, and not the other way around, as they became better stewards of whatever life put on their plate.