Dear Corporate Ladder-Climber

Dear Corporate Ladder-Climber,

I see you over there. Curled up in your tiny cubicle. Staring at a computer screen for eight hours straight. Sipping way-too-hot coffee in the morning and way-too-cold coffee in the afternoon to try to stay awake. Blinking ferociously and stretching frequently because you’re scared of the trending phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” You might as well buy the jumbo pack of cigarettes now.

I know you wonder if one day—someday—all of the eye pain, neck pain, and back pain will pay off. If the 45-minute commute, the horrendous traffic, and the interstate driving will pay off. If the long, lonely hours of staring at a screen trapped inside white prison walls will pay off.

Life on the Football Field

I see you in that overwhelming sea of cubicles—with other corporate ladder-climbers like yourself. Perhaps “sea” isn’t the appropriate word choice, though. Maybe “football field” would be more accurate. Because in the corporate world, everything is a competition—who can run the fastest, who can throw the farthest, and who can score the most points.

Will you be able to stand out from your opponents—er, teammates—and find success? Will you finally become a “Senior _____” or a “Vice President of _____” or a “_____ Team Leader”? Will you finally get that pay increase and that office with a view? Will you finally get to boss people around instead of getting bossed around? Will you finally have the respect of your coworkers instead of their ignorance and exclusion?

If Only It Were That Easy      

One who works his land will have plenty of food, but one who follows empty pursuits will have plenty of poverty. A faithful person will abound with blessings, but one who hurries to be rich will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 28:19-20 NASB)

Corporate Ladder-Climber, I can relate to how you feel. I work in an office for eight hours a day, Monday through Friday. My job title is “Associate Consultant,” which basically means I’m an assistant to the project managers in my company. I don’t sit in a cubicle, but I share a room with a couple other employees and work at a little desk with my computer and lots of pens. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be staring at Excel spreadsheets and formatting Word documents for the rest of my life.

But I have to remind myself that—at least for now—this is where God wants me.

Where We May Be Meant to Be

In a sense, we’re working the land, just like Solomon wrote about. We may not be planting seeds and plowing fields, but we’re working hard jobs day by day and paycheck by paycheck. If we choose to be faithful in our hard jobs—which is a conscious choice, by the way—we’ll be blessed. We may not be able to see the blessings that result from diligent work, but I guarantee God rewards diligence.

So, Corporate Ladder-Climber, remember that life is so much more than a race to the top of the corporate ladder. I realize that being faithful in a seemingly menial job is incredibly hard. But it’s always a better choice than following empty pursuits and hurrying to get rich. Showing faithfulness is a light to a faithless world, so let your faithfulness shine brightly—no matter what rung of the corporate ladder you’re on.    

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