God's Way of Finding a Job
CONTRARY TO WHAT I've been reading, what I see is more and more people out of a job. As the economy worsens, more and more people now need, or fear they will soon need, a new job. If you find yourself in the job market, remember that God has planned a particular job for you. He designed it for you before the beginning of time. Your part is to listen and obey to find that job.
Discovering God's Guidance
The job you find may or may not be exactly what you would choose. God may have an interim job for you, or he may intend that you "sweat it out" for a season. Your task is to discover as much of God's plan as He reveals to you now and to obey His direction.
Somewhere in the future, God very likely has that special job for you-a fulfilling and challenging position, consistent with your abilities. Your mission is to position yourself in the present, so that you can begin to find your way to that job. To find the shortest path to your ideal job, you must spend sufficient time with God. Then He can guide you step by step.
Dedicating Yourself to the Search
You must apply yourself to following that guidance. Treat your job search as if it were your job. Don't deprive your present employer, if you are still employed, but find some priority time for the search. If you are unemployed, devote a full day's work every day to your search. Get up at a regular time, spend time with the Lord and then begin work. Your work is to find work.
Planning Your Approach
Establish at the beginning of your search, in line with God's direction, what you are looking for: type(s) of work, salary, geographic area. Be sensitive to the Lord in these matters. Ask Him what He wants you to do, how much He wants you to earn and where He wants you to go. If you are married, be sure you and your spouse are in agreement. Then, at this stage, do not consider jobs which do not meet these criteria.
Next, establish a specific time frame for your job search. Again, seek God's direction, and do your best to identify His time frame for you. Commit yourself to find a job by a certain time. If you do not find a suitable job within the your time frame, change your strategy. Then look for an immediate job-something that provides some interim income-rather than an ideal job.
Beginning with the Basics
Prepare a resume or perhaps several. If you need help, consult an expert or read a book on the subject. Then develop a list of prospects. Who are the employers you wish to attract? How many of them are there? Where are they located? Make a list of every single potential employer and design a plan for reaching each. Establish a point of contact and send your resume to that person.
Follow-up is critical. Do not expect anything to happen unless you take the initiative. You are the one who needs the job. If you are uncertain about being too polite or too pushy, risk going to the other extreme. If you are meek, be aggressive, and if you are naturally aggressive, tone it down a bit.
Remember, at this point, you are a salesman, and your product is you. You need to identify the market for your product, and position yourself to compete in that market. Within the resources available to you, package your product. Consider the clothes you should wear and the image you want to project. What about your hair style? Should you be hirsute or clean shaven? Should you carry a briefcase? If so, what kind?
Your goal is to get an interview. Measure your success at this point by how many interviews you can land.
You may need to emphasize different abilities, depending on the job you are seeking. You may need to demonstrate your competence or you may want to emphasize your personality. Above all, be yourself.
Unless you have God's clear leading to the contrary, I would encourage you to tastefully identify yourself as a Christian. You may not get the job, but if you lose out because you are a Christian, you would not want that job anyway.
Let your interviewer know what your hopes and expectations are for an employer. Ask sufficient questions so that you can make a reasoned decision on whether you want the job. Do not rely on the representation that an employer is a Christian. Seek politely to find out whether being a Christian means he or she is accountable to God for this business. Maintain the attitude of a humble servant looking for the right master, with God doing the leading. There is only one thing worse than no job when you need one, and that is getting one that God did not intend for you to have.
Modify your approach, and perhaps your resume, after each interview. Consider asking your interviewer for suggestions on improving your presentation for future prospective employers. See each interview as a step closer to your goal. You are eliminating employers God has not chosen for you, and you are learning how to approach future prospects. You are one step closer to discovering what God has for you.
Trusting God, Establishing Accountability
Finally, trust God. Ultimately, only He knows what job He wants you to have and when He wants you to find it. If you do not find the job that He clearly has designed for you from the beginning of time, then take the best one available within the time frame you have established for finding a job. It may be that you will need to work from that one to the one He really wants you to have.
If the search is not going well-or even if it is-make yourself accountable. Find a person or a group who will meet with you regularly. Share with them what you believe God wants you to do. Be transparent with them. Acknowledge your disobedience. And then commit to them that you will do what they demand of you. Place yourself in the position of having to report to them regularly on what you have done. If you have not done all you promised, that is okay. What is not okay is to avoid telling them.
Another form of accountability is to promise your spouse or your pastor or someone else that you respect that if you do not have a job by a certain date, you will take a job in retail sales or in fast food or in a clerical temporary agency-or some other job that you know you can get. This will get you off dead center, and God can better direct you. If you suspect procrastination part of your problem, there is nothing like a little accountability to solve it.
God bless you and direct you as you seek His guidance for the job He has prepared for you.
- by Ken Smith
© 1997 by Christian Stewardship Ministries. Reprinted from Christian Stewardship Ministries' Principles in Practice, Fairfax, Virginia. Used with permission.
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