How Do You Rebound from Rejection?

July 4, 2023 | Comments Off on How Do You Rebound from Rejection?

Rejection is never fun, and it’s unfortunately a fairly common experience in the world of work. It comes in a variety of forms—like when we get passed over for a job or promotion, when our boss dismisses our ideas, when a client turns down a proposal, or when our colleagues exclude us. Rejection can make us feel like we’re not enough. Not qualified enough. Assertive enough. Competitive enough. Cool enough. And we may experience shame and self-doubt as a result. Sometimes that shame and self-doubt will cripple us, making it seem impossible to complete another application, try again, or attempt to make friends. Other times, it might launch us into fight mode, motivating us to dig in and double down on our efforts to get noticed or feel accepted. A recent experience of rejection made me spiral for a few days. I had been asked to submit a proposal for an academic conference—something I hadn’t done in years. Over the course of a few weeks, I cobbled together a proposal highlighting one of the findings from our recent research. Even though my academic writing chops felt a bit rusty, I felt pretty good about what I submitted. Then the rejection …

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Which Type of Worker Are You?

May 26, 2023 | Comments Off on Which Type of Worker Are You?

It’s no secret: We don’t all approach work the same way. Some of us throw ourselves into our jobs. We love what we do. Others of us are less enthusiastic. We show up to work and give it some effort. Maybe we’ve learned the hard way about what Sarah Jaffe writes about in her book Work Won’t Love You Back.    Recently I read an article about some early research on workaholism. Janet T. Spence and Ann S. Robins believe that workaholism revolves around three characteristics: Work Involvement, Drivenness, and Work Enjoyment. Here’s a brief synopsis of each. Work Involvement – A high commitment to work evidenced by spending a lot of time on it Drivenness – An inner compulsion or pressure to work Work Enjoyment – Liking work, getting lost in it, or feeling a sense of flow in it Initially, Spence and Robbins thought about two categories of people: workaholics and work enthusiasts. In their words, “the workaholic is highly work involved, feels compelled or driven to work because of inner pressures, and is low in enjoyment of work.” The work enthusiast, on the other hand, is “highly work involved, but unlike the latter, is high in enjoyment and …

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September 12, 2022 | Comments Off on Plenty

I often show up to work afraid. Afraid that the products and resources I develop will be overlooked in a market with so many amazing offerings. Today’s passage helped me to see the source of my fear: I’m operating with a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset says that there’s not room enough for me and what I create in this world. Too many other brilliant people and products are already taking up space in the market. John the Baptist didn’t operate with a scarcity mindset. When he found himself baptizing in the same place as Jesus, he didn’t mind “because there was plenty of water” (John 3:23). He didn’t see himself in competition with Jesus. He saw himself in cooperation with Jesus. Plenty of people needed to be baptized that day. Another short phrase in this passage reinforces this theme of plenty, of abundance. The Apostle John who authored the gospel wrote, “God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34). I think John the Baptist knew this. I think this truth helped fuel his confidence to baptize with freedom instead of fear. His job was to show up and do the work of pointing people to Jesus. The rest–the outcome …

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September 1, 2022 | Comments Off on Flourishing
Flourishing flower

This article was written for Made to Flourish and first appeared on in 2019. The article is no longer available on that site. Can we talk about the F-word? Not the four-letter one. The eleven-letter one. Flourishing. I hear this F-word fairly often in Christian contexts. In a Sunday school class, we considered what needed to change in our church so people from marginalized groups could flourish there. The phrase “human flourishing” came up once or twice at a women-and-ministry conference I recently attended. And though I have not done the work to prove it, I venture that some form of “flourish” appears in the majority of books and articles written about faith and work. Sometimes I wonder if Christians use “flourishing” like a fifth grader uses the actual F-word — without complete knowledge of what it means. What happens when my version of human flourishing differs from yours? What if some of us envision the American Dream while others envision living simply with joy and contentment? Without shared meaning, those of us pursuing human flourishing might actually be working toward different goals. I cannot recall ever coming across a definition of flourishing. Because I love Scripture and like …

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Sink, Swim, or Float

June 11, 2021 | Comments Off on Sink, Swim, or Float

God sent me a raft, but I didn’t lay on it. Instead, I stretched my arms across the middle, kept the rest of my body in the water, and started kicking. Because that’s what you do when someone sends a raft to save you, right? You hold on and start kicking because you’ve got to get yourself to shore.

The Raft

June 7, 2021 | Comments Off on The Raft

God sent me a raft–a red raft (at least that’s how I envision it). It’s one of those inflatable rafts that’s a little bit translucent so that you can see the water below it and the sun reflecting off of it at the same time; one that’s just long enough so that your feet caress the water when you stretch out on it; one that’s just wide enough that you don’t struggle to keep your balance if a wave rolls under you. My raft came in the heat of summer when I was swimming hard to get somewhere. I had been applying for full-time jobs for months. By my count, I completed nine applications in a span of two months. Eight of them required much more than a resume. If cover-letter fatigue is real, I had it.  Most of my applications went to their eternal rest in some Human Resources database. (I have zero confidence that anyone actually keeps my application on file in case I happen to be a fit for another position. Once I hit submit, I’m more often than not at the mercy of an algorithm and not an image-bearer.)  But then I received an email that …

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