“My objective is to challenge, encourage, and inspire you. Specifically, this book will challenge you to engage in deep personal introspection, encourage you to have a healthy attitude when facing inevitable challenges, and inspire you to view your work as a calling or vocation.”From Discover Joy In Work by Shundrawn Thomas
The quote above outlines what Shundrawn Thomas sets out to do in Discover Joy In Work and he does just that. He sets up the context as “The world has an employee engagement crisis, with serious and potentially lasting repercussions for the global economy.” and systematically unpacks what creates and diminishes engagement at work. He established joy as the measure for work, rather than engagement, and places it within the Christian construct.
The book is divided into three parts: the workplace, work ethic and work life. In the workplace, Shundrawn walks the reader through changing one’s attitude, altering one’s approach, raising one’s aptitude and ensuring one’s achievement to make the shift in perspective about the workplace.
“How we perceive our work environment also has a significant impact on our experience in the workplace. To maintain the proper motivation and remain productive we must perceive we are in a healthy work environment. It is impossible to find joy in our work if we do not have a constructive view of our coworkers and our work environment. Since we spend many of our waking hours at our workplace or on activities related to work, this has carryover implications for our quality of life.”From Discover Joy In Work by Shundrawn Thomas
In the second part, work ethic, Shundrawn changes the perspective on society’s success measure: money, praise and pride. With a Godly view, he shifts the measure to joy and glorifying God. This section resonated for me as it shifts the power for change into our hands rather than it being uncontrollable. He also frames leadership as a skill for everyone to develop.
“Leadership in large part involves the ability to effect positive influence, and an individual can demonstrate leadership in any position.”From Discover Joy In Work by Shundrawn Thomas
The third part discusses the purpose for work and it’s benefits, they are numerous!
“When you have confidence in your convictions and your contributions, you enthusiastically commit your time and talent to your work.”From Discover Joy In Work by Shundrawn Thomas
I have been fortunate to be able to work in a career aligned with my gifts and with colleagues who are Christian and supportive, I can attest to much of this book. Joy in work is wonderful and worth working for, If you are looking to reframe work as a vocation, draw the connection from your spiritual self through to your work self and to develop your life skills, this book is for you. It’s five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale and highly recommended.
From the back cover:
We are meant to experience joy in our work. But many of us struggle to find a sense of purpose or fulfillment in what we do. Is it possible for us to truly flourish in our work? Business executive Shundrawn Thomas reveals how work is intended to produce lasting value and should be meaningful and productive. A healthy attitude toward work and the workplace requires intentionality and effort. Thomas helps us to a greater understanding of our abilities and passions, which in turn will help us develop into the people we are meant to be. He addresses issues of work ethic, character formation, and work-life synergy to find better harmony between what we do and who we are. Through empirical research and real-life stories, Thomas reveals fundamental truths in easy-to-remember concepts for joy at work regardless of occupation, age, or career stage. You are designed to flourish in your workplace. Come on this journey to transcend your occupation and discover your true vocation.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from InterVarsity Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.