Thursday, June 23, 2005

The challenge of Christians in the workplace

I've always been a guy who loves to work, but the past year I've had some unique challenges outside of work that have reflected poorly on me as an employee. The past three months have been especially challenging. I have responsibilities I consider more pressing on my scale of importance that have put a great stress on The Gad(d)about, somewhat gainfully employed journalist.

The Gad(d)about Importance Rankings
  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Work
  4. College football

What I struggle with is how this makes me look as an employee. It's important that my employer knows I intend to exceed expectations and that I do not make excuses for poor work. It's not that I've missed assignments, but I've had to do a lot of explaining why I don't keep a "normal" schedule. Also, my stories have been missing the "pop" they once did. I'm not enterprising or breaking stories as much as I'm following up on the work of other papers.

The question I ask myself lately is if I have been putting too much emphasis on the physical and emotional needs of my family. My heart remains firmly entrenched here. If my family needs my blood, my body, I would give it to them. I have sacrificed a good deal so far, including leaving behind a stable and rewarding job to relocate for what has become a greatly reduced quality of life, but how far am I willing to go before I decide I am neglecting the very thing that keeps us afloat?

Am I doing a disservice to family by putting so much strain on my employers? Am I setting a poor witness for my employers, and can they honestly understand the needs of my family?

I don't have any great answers to these questions other than I refuse to reorder my basic priorities.

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