Career progression matters and if we don’t think so, we just need to ask the people at Forbes. A few years ago, they did an analysis on salary increases that showed that workers who stayed at one company for more than two years, on average, will earn 50% less over a lifetime than workers who made strategic moves into different companies.
That’s a big deal if we think about it. Let’s say Bob and Dave both started work at ABC Company 10 years ago in similar job roles earning $20,000. Essentially, Forbes is saying that Bob who has stayed at ABC Company for 10 years will earn 50% less money than Dave who has moved around significantly during that same time frame. In this case, Bob now earns $40,000 and Dave now earns $80,000. Both gentlemen are hopefully content in their careers, but imagine how much Christ-centered financial impact Dave can have due to him fully participating in the gifts that God gave him.
As Christians and Jesus followers, we have to ask ourselves why we aren’t continually motivated to have healthier progress in our careers. Sure, there may be valid reasons sometimes to stay in a certain pay grade for a season (sick parent, spouse in the military, and etc). However, being underpaid forever should never be our goal. We are called to be stewards with God’s blessings, and we are called to align our hearts with the Lord.
Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (ESV)
So if we have the talent to earn six-figures, why not go earn six-figures? Why make excuses for settling with what we currently earn? If God gives us talent, we need to steward that talent to the best of our ability. We need to do this not only for own enjoyment, but we need to do this for our local churches, for the widows, for the orphans, and for the foreigner.
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For example, how many times we have seen friends who want to internationally adopt, but they just don’t have the money to do so? If we have been diligent with our careers and our salaries, we can give a substantial gift to our friends for their selfless act. However, if we have not been diligent, we may want to help, but we don’t have the financial resources to do so.
That’s the risk we take when we think it’s okay for our careers to plateau. When we settle for average or “what we’ve always had,” we miss out on so many opportunities to participate with God in blessing our local communities and our world.