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Ask Chuck: Seeking satisfaction at work

Ask Chuck your money question

Dear Chuck,

My spouse is frustrated at work. I’m afraid he will get fired if he’s not careful. Can you give me some tips that I can share with him?

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Worried about My Husband’s Job

Dear Worried about My Husband’s Job,

Unsplash/ahmad gunnaivi
Unsplash/ahmad gunnaivi

I have no idea of the age of your husband, but many workers are frustrated to the point of quitting their jobs. I know I have had a similar experience. The temptation is just to walk away, but that is not a good plan.

According to a 2022 survey, the majority of Americans were considering a job change. This trend is growing. More than half of U.S. workers — 61% — considered leaving their jobs in 2023, a new report from LinkedIn has found, noting that a higher percentage of Gen Z (defined by LinkedIn as ages 18–25) and millennial (ages 26–41) workers are planning to call it quits more than any other generation.

How not to get fired

Getting fired is a lose/lose event — not only is the income gone, but the likelihood of getting a good referral for the next job is also gone. I suggest you help him improve his attitude and guard his tongue carefully.

Over a nice meal with just the two of you, recommend that he guard against complaining, gossiping, or threatening to leave. Instead, encourage him to start giving thanks for the work he has that provides for your family! Yes, he may need to find a better job for numerous reasons, but there is a professional way to go about it.

Conduct an objective evaluation before deciding to leave

List the pros and cons of his job. You may discover that the pros actually outweigh the cons.

  • Think of everything that goes into his work: the location, management, co-workers, safety, compensation, etc.
  • Is this just a temporarily difficult time? What makes it so?
  • What kind of job would he find more fulfilling? Has he discussed this with his superior? Is there a better job or position that he qualifies for within the company?
  • Is he willing to get more training or take on more responsibilities? Has he discussed the possibility with his superior?
  • Has he asked for a management review? Has he looked inside to consider his own weaknesses? Is he giving the job his best — working as unto the Lord?
  • Have you prayed about this job together? Have you both been grateful for the work and the income it provides?
  • Does he experience purpose and satisfaction? What does your spouse think would make the job better? Ask him if he can work to find the good in every day.

Dealing with frustration

Managers do not like being caught off guard by employee problems. It is important that he communicates his frustrations in a respectful manner.

  • First, he should make an appointment to see his direct manager.
  • He must be calm, concise, and professional. Ask him to practice his talk at home with you or with a mentor so he will be prepared. He must be humble, listen well, and conduct himself with integrity while keeping control of his emotions.
  • He should express a clear plan for how his job could become an ideal situation and ask the manager to consider a written proposal.

If the situation involves harassment or abuse, speak to an attorney first. Your church may be able to recommend someone he can talk to about it. No one should subject themselves to a job where morals are compromised or there is a fear for safety.

Work as unto the Lord

Experts agree that threats to leave one’s position hurt an employee in the long run. Loyalty to the company and trust is immediately lost. One’s mental stability and professionalism may be questioned. If money is the only thing an employee wants, management knows that dedication to the company is missing. In fact, complainers who threaten to leave make it easy for a manager to accept a resignation.

Perhaps your husband just needs an attitude adjustment. Work can become worship when it’s done as an offering to God, not for our own benefit. All of our gifts and talents should be stewarded wisely to benefit others and glorify Christ.

As Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Every project, task, and conversation we have at work should be done in the name of Jesus to honor Him.

I pray that you and your spouse get united and that this works out far better than you ever hoped or dreamed.

If thinking about a new career altogether, a Crown Career Direct Assessment could help him get to know himself. He’ll gain an understanding of his personality, skills, interests, and values. Crown has coaches to help him find a new direction should he desire one.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Economic Evidence for God?. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.

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