In my last article, I discussed the potential negative consequences of working the same job for a long time. However, there are many upsides to longevity in a role, and those are what we will examine today.
Developing Networks & Relationships
I tell my people at least once a week, “We have a great team.” Each team I have had over the years becomes great only because I have intentionally built them by treating all with dignity and respect.
One of the things I have learned that has enabled me to do my job effectively is being able to connect the dots. When someone asks me a question that falls into someone else’s lane, I know who they need to call. I know where to go for answers. In many cases, I will contact someone just like me who has also been working the same job for several years. Connecting with the right people gets things done.
More than just knowing who to talk with, I have been able to build personal relationships with a wide variety of individuals within my own organization, in our subordinate unit, in our higher headquarters, and with senior leaders and soldiers throughout our Chemical Regiment around the world. Being known as the one to call has enhanced coordination with all organizations that need our support.
Becoming a faithful employee who has developed and maintained relationships with coworkers both within and outside your organization and becoming known as someone who can be depended upon to get things done leads to having a good reputation, which God’s word tells us is valuable. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Prov. 22:1).
For the Christian, when we develop a reputation as someone who is not only dependable but has become an invaluable subject-matter expert, this will open doors to minister to a wider audience.
Becoming a Subject-Matter Expert
Another result of being in the same job for a long time is that people normally get better at their job. Think about a seasoned actor or baseball player. It takes time to get good at what they do, even when they have the God-given talent behind it. Polishing your craft to perfection does not come quickly.
In my job, my main function is to advise leaders as a civilian member of a military staff. The longer I have done it, the more credibility I have in their eyes. I can advise them because I have seen a lot. Proverbs 24:6 says, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
In 2 Chronicles 32:3, we see that King Hezekiah “consulted with his officials and military staff.” They helped him to make a tactical decision when the king of Assyria was threatening Jerusalem. My recommendations, based on the experiences and wisdom God has provided, are valued and listened to. This enables them to make sound decisions that positively impact military personnel around the world. (I invite you to check out an article I wrote a few years ago where God used me in a huge way.)
The writer of Proverbs wisely counsels workers that an employee who is skilled in his or her work will eventually go far. We read, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings” (Prov. 22:29). This indicates to me that God will open up doors for us as we sharpen our skills.
I highlighted this biblical principle to my youngest son after his face was put on a billboard on the main drag of his college town as the lead in a production of Hamlet. His hard work and passion for his craft motivated him to learn technical aspects of his field, improve his skills, stretch his wings, and audition for big roles. I pointed out that if he faithfully used his God-given talents and polished them to perfection, his work would catch the eye of people who could trust him to take on more responsibility.
Those of us who are blessed to be able to stay in one job for an extended period of time can certainly get complacent and we most definitely become prideful about our accomplishments without giving God all the glory. However, I have seen the value of developing networks and doing our jobs well.
To quote a speaker I heard when I was a young Christian in college, like Abraham, Moses, and other ordinary workers we find in the Bible, “God has sent me, I went, and I am put.” As God has allowed me to stay put, on a consistent basis, I have worked in his strength to ensure that I remained a cleansed vessel so that God would be fully present with me, working in me and through me to glorify Himself.
I trust that these thoughts may encourage some workers to remain content where they are, to wait on the Lord, and see what he will do with them over many years as they grow in faith and in competence.
Editor’s note: This article was adapted from the author’s personal blog. Republished with permission.