I was strolling through my Twitter feed yesterday and I came across a post by someone linking the best and worst jobs of 2013. I was intrigued. The people over at CareerCast.com put together a list of 200 occupations, from best to worst. To measure each occupation, they looked at four main criteria: pay, outlook for future employment, work environment, and stress. Here are some of the results of the study:
Five Best Jobs:
1. Actuary -- Interprets statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters.
2. Biomedical Engineer -- Analyses and design solutions to problems in biology and medicine, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.
3. Software Engineer -- Researches, designs, develops and maintains software systems along with hardware development for medical, scientific, and industrial purposes.
4. Audiologist -- Diagnoses and treats hearing problems by attempting to discover the range, nature, and degree of hearing function.
5. Financial Planner -- Related to careers in portfolio management, the financial planner offers a broad range of services aimed at assisting individuals in managing and planning their financial future.
Five Worst Jobs:
196. Oil Rig Worker -- Performs routine physical labor and maintenance on oil rigs and pipelines, both on and off shore.
197. Actor -- Entertains, informs, and instructs audiences by interpreting dramatic roles on stage, film, television, or radio.
198. Enlisted Military Personnel -- From serving food in the mess hall to fighting a battle on the front line to avoiding land mines along the path to a village, the duties a soldier carries out have very different levels of responsibility.
199. Lumberjack -- Fells, cuts, and transports timber to be processed into lumber, paper, and other wood products.
200. Reporter (Newspaper) -- Covers newsworthy events for newspapers, magazines, and television news programs.
As I was looking through this list, a few things struck me. First, there are a lot of different occupations in our world. There are many different types of jobs. Who would have thought that someone determining the likelihood of someone living or dying would be a job? Let alone the #1 rated job. There is great diversity in our world to how people make a living to support their families.
Second, almost every comment that I read had people complaining about their job. Doesn't that make sense to you? We probably know from personal experience that people complain or think that their job is the worst job. Or at least, worst than it is represented by a list like this. I hardly meet many people who say they have the best job in the world. I think you would have to agree, everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side. Those that are rated in the top think their job is to highly rated. Those rated in the bottom probably agree, and even want everyone to know how bad their job really is.
Third, it made me reflect that God created us to work. Yes, He made man to work. Work was instituted by God to be a good thing. When He created the world, He modeled that work is a good thing.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." (Genesis 2:1-3)
But before He rested, He created man and gave man a job to do in the garden. Man was to emulate God, who worked, and he was to cultivate and keep the garden (Gen. 2:15). In addition, man was put there to protect His wife.
I wonder how many people think the terribleness of their job is directly related to the fall of mankind. It is true that one of the consequences of the fall of man is that work would be more difficult. But work was instituted by God before the fall of man to be something that mankind engaged in for His glory.
Fourth, it made me think about my profession. In case you are interested, like me, a pastor (clergy) falls just below the middle of the scale. My profession is just a bit worse than a truck driver and purchasing agent, but just better than a typist or word processor.
As I read that, I have the same temptation as anyone else to say something negative about my profession. Instead of talking about the stress level of pastoral ministry, I want to emphasize how thankful I am to be a pastor. I wish our profession was higher on the list. As Pastor Mark Driscoll frequently says, "I love my 'job'!"