Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
There comes a time when everyone considers calling it quits. Sometimes it is because of a change in family status. Other times, it is a case of a better offer. Then there are those cases in which an employee just feels walked on and can no longer tolerate how they are treated. These are all understandable reasons for leaving a job.
However, there are those who leave a job for lesser reasons. They don’t like the job. Perhaps it wasn’t what they thought it would be. Maybe they didn’t like the pay they received, perhaps feeling that they deserved more. Perhaps they decided that they couldn’t abide by the company’s rules, so rather than trying to negotiate and work out a solution that benefits both sides, they simply copped out and left. These are not usually a good reason to leave a job.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable. This was his common method of teaching, in this case it was about laborers in a field. The parable, found in the twentieth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, tells of the owner of a vineyard who hired some laborers early in the morning. Later he hires some more laborers. Later still he hires even more laborers. At the end of the day, he pays the guys hired last first, and the guys hired first last. He also ends up paying everyone the same amount of money, never minding that the guys hired last did the least amount of work. Was the vineyard owner wrong to do this? No, it was his field and his money. The first group of laborers agreed to a certain pay scale, and that is what they got. When they saw the last group getting paid the same amount they had agreed to, they somehow felt that they would be paid more, but they weren’t, and they became upset for this. Yet, they agreed to do the job for a specific amount, and that is what they got.
Sad truth is that the workers, just like workers today, became greedy. Though the workers did not seem to have the option to quit or otherwise leave behind their labors, they certainly could choose not to work for that vineyard owner. In like manner, if an employee does not like the terms for a prospective position, they do have the option of not working there. However, that is not necessarily the best of options, especially since not working only makes it difficult to obtain the things needed to survive.
Businesses are always going to do what is in the best interest of the company. Sometimes this means that things will happen that employees may not like or agree with. However, that doesn’t automatically justify an employee to simply quit. If anything, it may actually be in the best interest of the employee to stay and work, for in doing so, it may be that they will be afforded a chance to address their concerns, and perhaps even present a solution that works in the best interest of the company as a whole. Leaving just because you don’t feel you are getting paid enough or aren’t in a certain position isn’t necessarily a good reason to leave a job.
I think the Apostle Paul said it best in 2 Thessalonians 3, where he says “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Yes, Paul also commanded the church of Thessalonica to encourage people to work. There is much that can be learned by working with all diligence, rather than laying around at home. In particular, we can learn to understand humility. Even Christ humbled himself, even to the point of death upon the cross.
In dying upon the cross, Christ took upon himself the punishment for our sins. However, that is not a free pass for sin and laziness. While we are yet in this world, we should still seek to work as best befits our skills and abilities. However, employers should also do well to note the skills and abilities of employees, and elevate those who demonstrate a willingness to work and have shown themselves to do so faithfully over a period of time. Those who refuse to do so, and just complain when they don’t like a given task, or even refuse to do such a task, should not be promoted, and it may even be better for them to leave so that somebody who is actually willing to work may be found.
If you have a job and are considering leaving, take the time to consider a few things. First, consider the reason you are leaving. If it is a concern with your pay, discuss it with your supervisor, especially if you have been with your employer for several years and yet your pay is unchanged. If you are leaving because you were passed up (again?) for a promotion, consider how much longer it may be with another company before you are eligible for a promotion, it may be better to stay where you are. Also, consider your plans for if you do leave. Only a fool would leave a job and not have something else prepared in advance. You shouldn’t just quit on a whim and not have a backup plan, especially if you have a family to care for.
If you must leave, be courteous to your co-workers. Most employers require, or at least request, a two to three week notice of intent to terminate employment. This gives the employer time to find and train an individual to replace you. The only time short notice can be reasonably justified is in the event of the company taking the initiative in termination of an employee, and even then a reason must be given concerning the reason for termination. Termination of employment on a whim is not good for anyone.
There are very few good reasons to leave a job. Greed isn’t one of them. Leaving just because we don’t like how something is handled is also a poor excuse to leave. However, if you must call it quits, do so with the best of intentions and without malice. May it be that greed and envy are not the motivation for leaving. Otherwise, you may find yourself back where you started, just with another employer. Think before acting. Don’t just quit.