Whether we like it or not, a large portion of our lives is spent in the workplace. Work turf is its own microcosm, featuring personalities and situations we often times would not touch with a ten foot pole, if not for the necessity of paying the mortgage. There is an old Spanish saying, “Dime con quien te andas, y te digo quien eres,” which is loosely translated as, “Tell me who you hang out with, and I’ll tell you who you are.” The reality is that our workplace environment has far-reaching effects on our professional, personal, and even spiritual lives. Catholic professionals must recognize that professional excellence is achieved synergistically with personal and spiritual enrichment; one of the best ways to achieve harmony amongst all three is to work for a Catholic organization.
Simon Sinek is a world-renowned marketing consultant, author, and motivational speaker. In his viral TED Talk, he draws from biology, history, and business giants like Apple to illustrate the fact that successful people and movements all think and act from the inside out: that is, their primary focus is to effectively communicate their mission in order to attract interest and clients. Simon repeatedly articulates this maxim: “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” Companies and individuals function optimally when every member is ordered to a common end. For the Catholic professional, this means that all aspects of their lives should be ordered to the end of living and proclaiming the Gospel, even at the workplace.
Authentically Catholic work environments provide Catholic professionals with a freedom that nurtures vitality and success. By avoiding drains to energy and creativity posed by opposition to the Gospel, Catholic professionals are able to work proactively rather than reactively. Physical resources are finite. Energy spent defending yourself or hiding at work is lost to family, faith, and professional productivity.
There is invaluable benefit to working alongside individuals and within an organization that is actively encouraging you to live your Catholic identity to the fullest. Maintaining a strong Catholic status in your professional sphere will not only provide greater harmony between your professional and personal life, it will give you the opportunity to augment the light you bring the outerworld.