Are You Thankful for Your Job?

As you count your blessings this Thanksgiving season, be grateful for your job

By David Cox, SPHR, SHRM-SCP | November 14, 2017

As the holiday season approaches, Thanksgiving is a time of year that calls us to reflect on all we’ve been given. Even if you feel you’ve earned everything you have, you were still the beneficiary of opportunities and surely those are gifts worthy of gratitude. I am convinced there are many reasons to be thankful for the job you hold. These reasons would include:

  1. Problems that prompted the creation of your job
  2. Co-workers, peers, and colleagues
  3. Your employer or manager
  4. Benefits associated with your employment
  5. Customers or clients
  6. Competitors in the market
  7. Opportunities to learn and eventually advance
  8. Compensation
  9. A feeling of fulfillment for a job well done

In conducting seminars, I spend a lot of time with employers and employees. Businesses today, face swiftly changing consumer demands and a tough, competitive environment. Non-Profits face budget cuts, political pressures, and grants that may not be available from one year to the next. Employers and employees alike are asked to do more and more with less and less. Amid these difficulties and other difficulties, along with the fast-paced nature of the work, it’s too easy to take your job for granted.

I recently had lunch with a good friend I’ll call Jack, who has been unemployed for the last two years. As Jack talked to me about his efforts in looking for a job, I felt terrible for this fine, capable guy who wants to work and has been unable to secure an offer of employment. As he expressed his discouragement, you could hear the emotion in his voice.

He told me about a late summer family gathering where some relatives of his in-laws were complaining about their respective jobs. Later, after lunch, one of these in-laws persisted in complaining when Jack suddenly interrupted him and said, “Trust me when I say that if you have a job, you should consider it a blessing. I hope you learn to love your job, but if not, maybe you should try to be thankful you have an opportunity to support your family, provide a roof over your heads and put food on your table.”

We’d all be well-served to make a list of the things at work we’re thankful for and another of any associated issues or problems. Since a job typically solves more problems than it creates, my guess is you’ll discover that you have much more to be thankful for than to complain about.

I am well aware that there are those who experience a variety of stressful problems on their job every day. Even in these situations, though it may be difficult to imagine, there are many facing the problems associated with unemployment who would gladly trade places with you.

My prayer for you this season is that you will learn to be genuinely thankful for your job. It is a great blessing for you and your family whether you love it or not.

David Cox

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