Mid-Career Assessment

Steve Arterburn

A March 2006 a Harvard Business Review article reported its findings from surveying 7,700 American workers at mid-career. Only 43% said they were passionate about their jobs. Only 33% feel energized by their work. By way of contrast, 36% say they’re in dead-end jobs, and over 40% are suffering from career burnout.

The researchers went on to identify seven common sources of frustration in this demographic group. They are:

1)      Career Bottleneck: Too many people chasing too few upper-level jobs.

2)      Work/Life Tension: Caring for children and parents at the same time.

3)      Lengthening Horizon: Facing the prospect of working longer to fund retirement.

4)      Skills Obsolescence: Catching up with the information age.

5)      Disillusionment With Employer: Insecurity about downsizing; frustrating over the gap between executive and worker compensation.

6)      Burnout: Twenty years down and twenty to thirty more to go.

7)      Disappointment: Career fulfillment a far cry from what they’d imagined.

Perhaps you see a bit of yourself in these findings. I hope you’re among those passionate and energized by your career. But if you’re not, maybe these findings can help you better understand and respond to your situation.

A large percentage of American men in mid-career are considering a career change. This is a big decision. If you’re considering it, I’ll be raising some issues tomorrow that you should give prayerful attention before moving forward. Please join me!

Keeping Perspective

Steve Arterburn

Your finances are important. They’re worthy of your studied attention. But not your worry, and certainly not your faith, hope, and love. 

The bottom line, men, is this: you’re not supposed to live in fear of your financial future. I’m reminded of how Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, lived his life. He headed an organization with income of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Yet he and his wife raised their personal support each year just like all Campus Crusade staff’a modest income by any measurement.

They didn’t own a car or real estate. When Dr. Bright won the million-dollar Templeton Award for Progress in Religion in 1996, he put the money toward developing a new ministry initiative. Like all Campus Crusade staff, he paid into a modest retirement fund. But he liquidated most of that to start a new training center in Moscow. He had no savings account and accepted no speaking fees. When he died in 2003, he left behind few worldly goods, yet God provided for him abundantly throughout his life.

Followers of Christ are called to a life of faith, not fear. That life of faith may look differently from one person to the next, but the lack of fear will look the same. It’ll be a combination of wisdom, diligence, and trust that does everything it can to live a responsible financial life while putting ultimate hope in Christ alone for the present and the future. 

How You Can Help

Steve Arterburn

Anyone who investigates the extent and effects of pornography in our country is tempted to conclude: ‘The problem’s too big to be beaten.’ Or perhaps: ‘What could I possibly do to make a difference in something so overblown?’ Folks, don’t succumb to these temptations. You can make a difference! In fact, if you love Jesus Christ; if you love your children; if you love your neighbor; then being passive and accepting defeat just isn’t an option.

 

God is holy. All forms of evil’pornography included’contradict God’s character. Therefore, God doesn’t’and can’t’compromise with it, or be reconciled to it. Make no mistake: God hates all forms of wickedness. So if you belong to Him, you must ask yourself: ‘Can I dare be indifferent to what my Lord hates and opposes?’ Clearly, you cannot.

In a Christianity Today editorial, I read four ways you can stem the rising tide of pornograpy:

1)      Teach sex education at home and in church-sponsored programs. 

2)      Speak out against pornography, whether to PTA groups or to family stores selling pornographic materials.

3)      Support those who are waging a battle against porn through petitions, letters, and boycotts.

4)      Support and encourage any forums that will help people distinguish between opposition to pornography and the limitations to free speech.

And in all these things, pray. Pray that God will strengthen your hands and your heart for His service, and that, through His power, your efforts will bear fruit.