Some Catholic professionals find themselves working for a Catholic company, directly for the church, or for the diocese, etc. However, for many more, that is not the case. So, what should the faithful Catholic be looking for in the secular workplace? After all, we are called to sanctify the public sphere and therefore, often we will be called to companies with no religious affiliation. Here are some suggestions to consider:
1. The company aligns with your moral values.
Obviously, we cannot work for companies that explicitly support evil — a Catholic medical professional could never work for Planned Parenthood or could not work for a hospice that practices physician assisted suicide. A Catholic judge could not officiate homosexual marriages. A Catholic teacher cannot be forced to teach comprehensive sexual education. These are obvious examples, but as a bare minimum, your job cannot force you to do anything against your conscience. If it does, you must attempt to change the policy. If change is not possible or if it is successfully resisted, you must quit.
2. The company allows you to order your life properly concerning your vocation.
Does your company require time and energy that is unrealistic for your state of life? While our professions are essential, they are always at the service of our family. If a position requires hours or emotional investments that demand you neglect God or your family life, this is a red flag. A good company should have reasonable work hours, include families in events, and be flexible when family life intrudes on the work day occasionally.
3. The company allows you to use your God-given gifts and talents, bringing you fulfillment and joy.
If your work is stifling you and your interests, it isn't the right position. As Catholic professionals, our work is an apostolate, a work of human hands offered to God to become His work. Work is not arbitrary; it is sanctified and ought to be an expression of our gifts. Don't suffer through a a dissatisfying job. A good company will help you develop your talents through mentorship or continued education, and encourage you to contribute what you uniquely can offer.
4. The company recognizes the goodness of the human person.
A company that is toxic, a boss that is demeaning, or coworkers who degrade those they serve or each other, all signify that a company is willing to mistreat people to achieve its end. A good company is one with a culture of respect, where employees are heard, where gossip is not tolerated, and those you serve and work with are uplifted.
Our work is not an accessory to our faith; it is an outgrowth of who we are as Catholics. We have a duty to find the proper place where we can flourish and live our faith daily. Our workplace selection requires serious discernment and direction or mentorship. These guidelines can be a starting place in your prayer process.
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