Stop Making Your Community Tell You What To Do

The bargain of job security is this: do what you’re asked and you will be compensated–sufficiently if not handsomely–so that you can buy a house and a car, raise a family and see a doctor when you need. The best jobs go to the workers who do the best job at filling the role, performing the defined function(s).

The erosion of this job security in our time is chipping away at the compensation part of that bargain, but it is also eroding the other part, the do-what-you’re-asked part. There is more of a burden on people today, in a disrupted, declining, work economy, to identify what needs done and to put themselves forward as the ones to do it.

Obviously, this burden is also an opportunity.

An example:

A youth worker walked into a church and asked, “Do you guys have a youth group?”

“No,” came the answer. No budget for a youth worker=no youth program.

On to the next church to look for one of the last remaining youth worker jobs?


“Well, you should have a youth group; there are loads of teens in this neighborhood. Let me start one for you.”

Not, “Will you hire me for a Youth Worker job?” but, “Let me hire you as the community I’m going to feed with my work.”

This extends even to the job you already have. If the community needs something other than what’s in your job description, why not propose something else? If your sense of giftedness and call has changed since you were hired, why not skip the search for a different job someplace else in favor of engaging the community you’re already in about changing how you feed it with The Thing You Do.

Man, that’s scary.