Navigating Tests on the Job

When I was in school, I hated taking tests. I was one who would much rather write a paper than be forced to sit through a multiple choice test. And don’t let it be a standardized test, God help us all. Those things were the enemy in my head. As much as I like to think that the idea of tests  ended once I completed college, it didn’t. Then there’s life after college.

You see in life, there are many tests that come our way. Many obstacles to face, sometimes even daily. Whether you are beginning your career or been in corporate America for a few years, you have faced some tests on the job. Maybe someone constantly challenges your ideas, refuses to work with you, or doesn’t even acknowledge your existence, regardless of the situation you have experienced some tests.

Don’t let it get you down. Never let anyone make you feel less than God’s best.I believe that you are given the tools to handle these difficult times. Yes it will be uncomfortable but I don’t think God would position you where you are and just leave you to fight it all by yourself. It can be hard to navigate conflict on the job as you want to remain professional and keep a healthy working environment. Plus, no one wants to be labeled as being a difficult person to work with but below are some helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Stay grounded: Stay grounded in your faith and who you are. Never allow someone to get you out of character
  2. Own it: If you make an honest mistake, own up to it. It’s difficult to admit these things but it’s important for your professional growth. Whether you unintentionally said something to someone who was misconstrued it or made an error on a project, it’s important to come up with a solution as soon as possible and own up to your mistakes.
  3. Be kind: I know, I know. This is the last thing you want to read. It’s difficult when someone is everything but kind to you but the truth is, you never know why they are that way. Maybe they are dealing with hurt/pain at home, now this doesn’t give them an excuse but it allows us to show some grace. Sometimes if you seek to understand the root of it all, you begin to wrap your head around why they are the way that they are. Now, I’m not saying to let them walk all over you but give a little grace as you’ll be rewarded for doing so.
  4. Don’t gossip: This is hard. Gossiping is part of some people’s DNA but don’t fall into the trap. It is so easy to  gossip especially when there’s so much of it around you but I challenge you to be different. It has always made me uneasy when someone walks into a meeting room and it is obvious that others just finished talking about them. It’s not a good feeling. I always try to put myself in their shoes and I can only imagine how that may feel.
  5. Pray: I saved the best for last. I believe that prayer changes things. I encourage you to take your tests to God to work on your behalf. You can’t change the people that you work with (or your situation) but you can vent to God. He will show you the areas where you can improve and also begin to work on some of those “challenging” people that seem to make life harder.

I hope you take time to practice these things on the job but please remember,your job is to remain faithful during the difficult times. Don’t get discouraged, take these tests as a chance to build a bigger faith!