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Beyond Tolerable – Finding Purpose and Meaning in a Summer Job

After listening to my teenage daughter and niece surmise about the “horrors” of several summer jobs, I found myself chuckling to think of the rapid awakening that both would have upon entering the “real” world after high school and college.  From their conversation, I recognized that these two beautiful young ladies currently view holding a job as simply a way to earn money for that next pair of shoes or put gas in the car.  Certainly, we work to earn a living, but employment offers more than money.  Here are five reasons to find purpose and meaning in holding a summer job.

  1. Fruitfulness.  In Genesis chapter 1, we read that God charged Adam and Eve to tend to the garden.  Even in the perfect setting of the Garden of Eden, man was created to work…yes, that’s right…to work.  We were made to be fruitful since the beginning of time.
  1. Service.  Whether your job is washing dishes at the local restaurant, managing social media for small business clients, or leading a large corporation from the executive office, each centers around serving other people.  Summer jobs are great opportunities to practice serving others.  Are you dealing with grumpy customers or a demanding boss?  Serve them with a smile!
  1. Purpose.  You were made for more than just lounging on the couch in front of the television or hanging out with friends.  You were made to be productive, to fulfill a purpose.  And before you think that purpose is just something grand in the far off future, consider your purpose right now.  Are you working as a lifeguard this summer?  You are significant as you guard the lives of swimmers enjoying a dip on a hot summer day.  Are you busing tables at a local restaurant?  Without you, restaurant patrons would not find a clean environment in which to enjoy their meals.
  1. Learning.   Summer jobs are rich environments for learning.  Regardless of your job, embrace the opportunity to learn and practice good work habits.  Arrive to work on time.  Serve customers with a smile.  Be a “go to” person for your boss.  Learn the ins and outs of your job and do your work with excellence.  Habits learned and skills practiced today will take you far in future fulltime employment positions.
  1. Planting Seeds.  “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.” – Matthew 25:22   Your faithfulness at a summer job sows seeds in the garden of your future.  Do not take your opportunity to work this summer lightly.  There is more at stake than a new pair of shoes or gas money.  Plant great seeds today so that you will harvest great fruit tomorrow!

May you be wildly successful in all that you do – even and especially this summer,



One response to on “Beyond Tolerable – Finding Purpose and Meaning in a Summer Job


  1. Todd Owen says:

    Great write-up!

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