ND has one of the most unique university experiences in Australia. You guys have pracs! While other unis are slaving away writing assignments, doing labs, and hanging out in the Ref or the Guild Café, you’re slaving away at work in a job you don’t get paid for. At times it’ll feel like we’ve lost our freedom.
Gone are the sleep-ins and arriving at uni at 1225pm for that 1230 class.
Gone are the hangs at the park, beach, or in the café.
Gone is our free time to hang at Prindi with our friends.
So what’s the best way to approach Prac? How can we honour God at pracs?
I reckon here’s a few tips at surviving prac (and work)
1. Be willing to admit you’re wrong
Let’s admit it, you’re going to make mistakes while on prac. You’ll say something wrong, muck up the experiment, or forget to do something. That’s ok. But honouring God at work requires the right attitude. If you make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up. It will quickly erode any trust anyone has for you. Instead, display Christ-likeness, knowing that even though we’re marked on our performance at prac, we’re not defined by it. So, we can admit our faults. We can be humble because Christ has been humiliated for us.
2. Ask for help
The primary object in prac isn’t the work, it’s the learning. Asking for help shows that you’re willing to learn, adapt, and respect your placement supervisor. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Arrogance is a sure way to kill any respect and trust people may have for you. God doesn’t expect you to know it all, and neither does your supervisor. So, don’t pretend you know it all, and ask for help. They’re the ones you’re learning from, not the actual task!
3. Take risks for God’s business
Prac exposes us to people we don’t normally talk to. A new environment gives different opportunities to proclaim Jesus. If our objective is to proclaim Jesus in every situation God places us, then prac is an extension of our mission field at uni. Sure, people will be older and probably have different opinions about Jesus than we’re expecting. That’s ok. We can listen and reason with them too. But don’t fear them. Because we have been accepted by God, we have nobody to fear. It’s God’s business which is our primary concern. Honouring God in the opportunities he gives us to proclaim Jesus will need us to take some relational risk.
4. Do the job well.
Prac will give us opportunities to put the skills we’ve learned at uni into practice. So use them well! Try new things, take risks. But try to do the job as best as possible. Nothing erodes respect like a poor effort. Put in the hard yards, and honour Jesus with your work. Don’t get overly stressed about obtaining perfection, because Jesus is perfect and we are not. We’ll make mistakes, and that’s ok (see point 1). But strive to honour Jesus in your work. Do it well for his glory and not our own.
So, the bottom line is this, prac is an awesome opportunity to develop the skills required to honour God in the workplace. Asking for help, admitting we’re wrong, and taking risks for God’s business are essential in honouring Jesus in the workplace. If we want to use the rest of our lives to honour Jesus, why not use prac as a time to develop skills to honour him in the workplace too?