Feeling stuck at work can be an awful experience, especially because we spend so much of our time at work. Personally, I want to look back on each day and be able to feel a sense of accomplishment – I want to know that I made a contribution. But when I feel stuck, it’s frustrating, demoralizing and can zap any energy or passion I need to move forward.
Feeling stuck can show up in a few different ways – when you feel like you’re in a dead-end job; when changes in the industry lead to changes in your team and you are left doing work you don’t enjoy or even feel equipped to handle; when you have a vision for something you want to accomplish, but a lack of resources stands in the way of moving forward.
No matter what version of “stuck” I’ve experienced, I’ve discovered that no one can get me unstuck. My attitude makes all the difference, so it’s up to me to determine what I need to do, accept what is – whether I like it or not – and do what I can with excellence. The story of Joseph has always encouraged me when I found myself stuck.
Joseph had a dream that his brothers would one day bow down to him (Genesis 37:5-8). I can only imagine his shock when his brothers turned around and sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:26-28). Here are some of the insights I have gained from this story:
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Joseph was sold to Potiphar, captain of the guard under Pharaoh. Now, I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Joseph imagined he would be doing. Can you relate? But he did it faithfully and the Bible says that, even as a slave, Joseph prospered. Even when he was thrown in prison after being wrongfully accused of mistreating Potiphar’s wife, Joseph continued to find favor with the warden.
Do Your Work as if You are Working for God
Joseph spent years as a slave and in prison. He must have wondered how God would fulfill the dream he had. But no matter what happened, Joseph continued to do what was in front of him with excellence and faithfulness.
In the end, God not only freed Joseph, He saw to it that Joseph was promoted to the highest position next to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:41-45). His dream became a reality and his brothers did bow down to him (Genesis 42:6). What Joseph’s brothers intended for his harm, God used for good to save many lives (Genesis 50:20).
When I look back on my own experiences, I can see that God has used everything I’ve gone through to prepare me for where I am now. If you feel stuck, the best strategy is to maintain a positive attitude, do your work with excellence and trust God to guide you as you seek Him. Our success comes from God and His plans will always prevail (Isaiah 14:27). He truly does use all of the circumstances of our lives for good (Romans 8:28).