The most difficult part of finding a new assignment as a parish priest was determining the character of those with whom I work. This included my fellow priests, other pastoral staff, and support staff. Only over time do people reveal their true characters and the transparency of their values.

Everyone assumed that pastoral ministers would work together for the good of the parishioners. Human nature often intervened, however. Yet I discovered certain qualities that eventually showed up in the overwhelming majority of those with whom I worked.

Have you ever taken inventory of yourself and fellow workers regarding character issues? These issues have a direct impact on whether or not you and your fellows are enjoying your work environment.

Here’s an easy checklist. Perceive deeply and discover if and how you find the following characteristics in the people with whom you spend 8 hours a day. They will reveal something of their moral and ethical characters. I suggest you apply them collectively and individually to those around you and to yourself. You might ask a trusted colleague to share their perception of you.

People of sound character:

  • see a need and make every effort to address it.
  • have great compassion for their fellows.
  • avoid even the perception embarrassing others.
  • jump in and help without thinking twice about it.
  • exhibit their core values in how they work.
  • are highly ethical and seek the common good.
  • do not let their prejudices and/or bigotries surface.
  • don’t allow what others think about them to affect their performance.
  • are not afraid to consult with others and admit mistakes.
  • don’t whine or complain.
  • take the time they need to do a thorough job.
  • improvise when necessary and follow protocol.
  • know and communicate their limitations.
  • collaborate when necessary and work well alone.
  • are motivated by intuition and empathy, as well as by their knowledge.

9-15 =Dream job, if you are also scoring as just as high!
5-9 = What can you do to make this work environment better?
>5 = Maybe this is not the right job setting for you.

So what’s the result for you? Do you already have the right job based on the character of your colleagues? And what about yourself? Do you feel you are setting the right example of a person with an elevated character? What can you do to move from the mediocre middle stage, to show shift to the higher stage? Or perhaps this Is it time to find a new career/job/setting?
Let’s talk about it!