3 THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU FEEL “STUCK” IN YOUR CAREER

3 THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU FEEL “STUCK” IN YOUR CAREER

 

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In Visioneering, Andy Stanley boldly states “Until you discover His purpose for you — and follow through on it — there will always be a hole in your soul.”  God gave me a pretty defined calling six years ago now, in 2010, which for that last 3 years I don’t feel like I’ve been able to accomplish or live out. I’ve been filled with a lot of self doubt, confusion, frustration, anger and bitterness (all great things, right?). But I’ve also seen my passion go up, I’ve seen me try things I never would have thought I’d try, and stretch myself in new ways. But I am still, not there yet. I’m now asking God “Why?” Why am I not doing this? It’s not for lack of trying. Is there something I haven’t tried yet? Am I being blocked for a reason? Am I doing something wrong? Has my calling changed? What, God, do I do when I’m stuck?!

So here are the three things I keep asking myself if I should do.

Should I ENDURE? In our Hustle culture, we can often times forget that some of us only got there because of the Desert. The season of our lives that pushed us to endure starvation and exhaustion for the sake of what God was calling us to. Abraham did it, the nation of Israel did it (not so spectacularly, I might add), but Jesus was the one who modeled it for us. We hear about how to take action, we hear plenty on how to succeed, but very rarely do we hear anyone talk about how to endure. Because sometimes Enduring is what we are called to do.

Should I SHIFT? I have absolutely fallen in love with Jeff Goin’s The Art of WorkOver my sabbatical, it was a constant challenge, addressing all my sore spots, and has giving me great exercises to make sure I’m not being lazy in pursuing my calling or life’s work. In chapter 5, he delves into what he calls pivot points. “In basketball, you are only allowed to take two steps once you stop dribbling the ball. When you take that last step ,the foot must remain fixed, but the other foot can freely move about, allowing you to easily spin around and find a teammate to whom you can pass the ball. … That’s the beauty of the move. Even when all other opportunities are exhausted, you can always pivot.” Jeff goes on to elaborate how several major companies were founded, not because they had one vision and achieved it, but through a series of closed-doors and failures, eventually pivoted their way to success. So, should I shift? Should you shift? After reading Jeff’s book, I think you absolutely have to try. Sift your role, your responsibilities, take on a different challenge, look into a new market, shift and you might just jar some of that sticky stuckness loose!

Should I LEAVE? I put this last, but let’s be honest, all of us, at some point, have gone to this option first. “I feel stuck… Well, it’s time to pack-it-up and leave!” or “Hm… my job isn’t allowing me to do what I want/need/should be doing to be successful/feel fulfilled, but a new job would! Guess it’s time to go.” Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t look into other opportunities, you should always consider anything that comes across your path, otherwise you might miss what God is calling you to next. But as a close friend recently told me, “Just make sure you are running toward something, and not just away.” See? This is why it pays to have people smarter than myself around. Check your priorities, evaluate your purpose, vision and calling to make sure that you really are running in the right direction, toward the thing God is calling you to.

So, I’ll be honest at this point, I have tried leaving … I have tried shifting, several times. But I’m still here now, in my place of “stuck”. It has forced me to keep my focus on God, to battle my demons, and put my house in order. And after the tears, the disappointments, the hurts and fears that creep in, when I’ve wiped away the tears, God was still there; not fixing everything, just being there. And that is enough to keep going. Henri Nouwen says, “If we could just be, for a few minutes each day, we would indeed discover that we are not alone.”

Now, I have to continually work on my contentment being cemented in Christ, and on Him alone! As Andy Stanley says later in VisioneeringThe end of a God-ordained vision is still God.” To put my calling on the (to use a CRU term) Throne of my life, is to miss the point entirely. So, even when the basics of how I’ve been created, isn’t being fulfilled, my fulfillment doesn’t come from any source other than Christ. It’s difficult. Boy, do I know it’s difficult! When God, who is sovereign, can do anything for me, my family, our calling and work, but chooses instead to hold us in place, I have to stop fighting and muttering at some point, and ask for the focus to see what is occurring that I’m missing. I do hate homages, sayings like “He’s more about the journey than the destination.” They sound like we’re not invested. I’m finishing up Laurie Short’s Finding Faith in the Dark, in it she has a great way of putting it that doesn’t sound hackneyed. She points out, through the story of Job, that the end result of pain is not about our circumstances, the end result, the one God is primarily concerned with, is about us. God is obsessed with my personal outcome, and if this process can make me better to the purpose I am called to, that (I wince to say it, but it’s true) is worth all of it.

September 7, 2016 0 comments Read More
WHEN A VIDEO DIRECTOR ISN’T A VIDEO DIRECTOR

WHEN A VIDEO DIRECTOR ISN’T A VIDEO DIRECTOR

Passionate photographer early in the morning

As I’ve talked with both videographers and their respective church employers, I’ve been surprised by the variety of ways each camp & the different entities defines the role of Video Director. There does not seem to be a uniform definition for what the role actually does, and doesn’t do.  From near as I can tell, they have ranged from something near enough to filmmaker, with weekly (or bi-weekly) deadlines, to a video editor, who wears a dozen hats. But from my experience, I think it is important to draw a few lines around what a Video Director could do, versus what they should do for a church or organization.

August 3, 2016 0 comments Read More
WHY ARTISTS & CREATIVES ARE NOT THE SAME THING

WHY ARTISTS & CREATIVES ARE NOT THE SAME THING

Culturally, we’ve assumed for a long time that if you’re an artist, then you must be a very creative individual. And if you’re a creative, then you must have some artistic abilities, or at least, good artistic sense. But very rarely have we driven a line, and differentiated, between the two. It is my impression that they are thoroughly different, and by not recognizing the distinctions, as leaders, we set both classes of people up to fail.  

June 27, 2016 2 comments Read More
HOW TO SABBATICAL WELL

HOW TO SABBATICAL WELL

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Half-way through, now. Whew! It goes by so fast, and yeaaaah, I know what you’re thinking. It is odd that I would be posting about learnings from an experience, before it’s even done yet. I mean, who’s to say that some epiphany at the end, won’t make the whole perspective from mid-way completely moot? No one. But at this point, I believed that I’ve stumbled across some major keys that

June 14, 2016 1 comment Read More
WHY YOUR CONTENT MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH

WHY YOUR CONTENT MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH

hands using a phone texting on smartphone app

Since the internet and age of information has begun, it seems that human-kinds ability to crank is moving faster and faster. For people looking to create a platform & capture an audience, for a while (a long while) the rule of the land was that, Content is King.  As long as your content was out there, it was consistently produced, and the quality didn’t waver too much, then you had what you needed to reach who you wanted. But the rules are changing, or already have. If you build it, They will come is dead. The world now consists of content makers

May 30, 2016 2 comments Read More
Being a Jack

Being a Jack

Jack of All Trades

We’ve all heard the axiom, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”  There’s a common philosophy in marketing oneself in today’s market about being a “Jack”.  The assumption goes something like, that if you are one, then you’ll never master anything, never find your voice, never find your audience.  With today’s what’s-trending, super-niche markets, trying to find and establish your tribe of people, your brand, and really find your …voice, can become overwhelming.  There’s the constant pressure to find a single attribute, take that single thing, and capitalize on it!

March 4, 2015 0 comments Read More
Losers Always Whine About Their Best

Losers Always Whine About Their Best

When I started out to write this post (a notable 3 months after my previous one) I was going to start out with the words, “I have to apologize profusely…”.  That was my start at a post apologizing for my inconsistency on this blog.  But, I’m not going to do that now.  Nothing changed, only I was reminded of some of my recent goals.  The biggest of them is to “be awesome”.  Or better put recognize & develop what I’m awesome at.  I guess Strengths Finder 2.0 puts it best, “the key to human development is building on who you already are.”  Who I already am.  A man, created in God’s image, put on this earth to create, to inspire and to share stories of people were touched by grace.  Does that include being awesome at blogging?  Not at this point it doesn’t.  Does that mean I don’t care about writing? No.  Does it mean I don’t care about you, or my audience?  Not at all.  Does it mean that I’m going to stop writing? May it never be!   I just don’t need to beat myself up at this point for letting mostly myself down.  I am going to be awesome!  And that means when I make videos, I want to do an awesome job! And when I play with my sons, I want to be awesome at that too!  And when I write, I’m going write about things I believe are awesome!  But that may not be every week, or every month at this point in life.  So yeah, anyway, the question I want to challenge you with, is what are you beating yourself up about?  Is it worth your time, or are you suppose to be awesome at something else, but in all that you do, Be Awesome!

August 14, 2013 0 comments Read More
HAITI

HAITI

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Haiti has a way of making you miss it before you’ve even left, just knowing you’ll have to leave.  Such a beautiful place, with beautiful people, and I had such a beautiful experience there!  My faculty was as a youth-leader & a videographer, working half the time with our #gohaiti team, and the other half as camera man, capturing the story of Simmonette, a village Gateway partners with the bring life-change to that village.
The initial prospect of my first trip in 6 years was daunting.  I wanted to nail it, get it right, be deserving of this opportunity as well as showing potential for more ventures in the future.  So like many videographers who don’t know what awaits them, I overpacked. I took WAY too much gear, and not nearly enough clothes.  Oh man, did I not take enough clothes!!  I packed enough for each day, but no one told me that you need 2 outfits/day. One to sweat through in the morning, and one to sweat through at night.
I want to keep this brief, but basically, I had a blast.  I was challenged too.  I realized that my words and actions about missions have been very different..  That’s what I want to bring back home, a motive to get involved in what is at work around the world.
Well, that’s enough for now.
June 26, 2013 0 comments Read More
Why No One Wants Free Music

Why No One Wants Free Music

Free_MusicI came across this stack of CDs in my office’s break room.  It had started as a stack of CDs and was now a stack of CDs with a stickie note on top.  It dawned on me that the generous giver was trying to help people realize the point that this music, over here, on this table, next to the thin-slice bread, THIS music was FREE!

…clearly, they’re missing the point that currently, ALL music is free.  I don’t buy music anymore, 7 years ago it was a monthly ritual to head to my local Best Buy so I could peruse the aisles in search of my favorites.  So to say that this music, on the break table was free, was redundant.  Personally, I don’t want the hassle of picking up and transporting several discs to my house (most likely forgetting them in my bag for a day or two) then ripping them to my harddrive,  when the alternative is that I can go home, pull up spotify and plug that artist directly into a playlist? Done.  No mess, I probably just saved a tree.  …wait, are CDs made out of trees?

June 7, 2013 0 comments Read More
How to Stay Positive When Your Think Your Work Sucks

How to Stay Positive When Your Think Your Work Sucks

SEMI-PERMANENT 2013 TITLES from Danny Yount on Vimeo.

 

Okay, so I watched the award-winning title sequence above, I honestly got a little pissed.  I mean, it’s so good right!  I had also tried to pull off the same feel/look/style the year before for an Easter service over 2-3 music background videos.  But I never got close to getting them looking this good!  So I was sitting there fuming over my lack of creative surplus, time, inspiration, you name it, I was using it as an excuse for why mine weren’t as great.

Then I noticed who created these titles, Danny Yount.  The Danny Yount!  The guy who created the opening titles for Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang the Danny Yount to created the ending credit sequence of Iron-Man and Sherlock Holmes, the D.Y. who formed credits for RocknRollaSix Feet Under, Oblivion and well, you get my point. … I beamed.  When I saw that one of my heros, the great Danny Yount had conceptually, tackled a project similar to my own, I was in that moment so proud of myself; to think along the same lines as a man I whose work I look at and am constantly moved by and inspired by.  It means I’m on the right track.  Just keep your head down Justin, and keep going, you’re doing great.

April 11, 2013 1 comment Read More