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Get God in Charge of Your Job Search

SONY DSCI am a person of faith; I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that His saving grace gives our lives purpose.  I know that following Christ and His
teachings has made me a better person causing me to be more loving to my family, my friends and even to my enemies. Following Christ did not make me perfect, nor will following Him end all my troubles however; following Christ equips me to face life’s challenges with hope, courage and  peace.

God & Work

In this land of great  and plenty too many of God’s abled body children are without work.  I believe that work in its many forms has been created, ordained and sustained by God for us.

unemployment lineGod created work:  God gave the very first job to Adam when He told Him to name everything in the Garden of Eden: Genesis 2:19

God ordained work: When Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden, God commanded “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat” Genesis: 3:19

God sustained work:  Look around the Bible and almost everyone had work:

………Bezalel was a designer – Exodus 35:31-35

………..Matthew was a tax collector – Matthew 10:1-3

……………..Jesus was a carpenter – Mark 6:1-3

Find more jobs in the Bible.

Work is more than just making coin

CoinGod gave us work to be more than just a paycheck; He gave us work to allow us to showcase His glory through the brilliance of our minds when we create concepts, inventions and medicines; He gave us work to showcase our skill in building houses, cars and fine clothes; He gave us work to showcase our faithfulness by simply showing up to work every day year after year and doing the very best we can.

….So it is only right that when we are out of work the thing that God created, ordained and sustained that we should Get God in Charge of Our Job Search.

How to Get God in Charge of Our Job Search? 

Over the years in working with job search clients I have found 4 things that enable them to get and keep God in charge of their job search

Prayer❶ Prayer

Always be full of joy.  Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Prayer is how we communicate with God. While God is all powerful and He knows our needs even before we ask for them God is also relational and He wants us to talk to Him so that we can fully embrace our relationship.

As Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 11:24, “I tell you, you can pray for anything….” And while I would dare not mandate what my job search clients should pray for however; when asked these are some things I suggest:

–        EnduranceDear brothers and sisters when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  James 1:2-4

Searching for a job can be a long difficult slog.  It will test your metal like nothing else, your finances, self-esteem, and purposefulness will all come under attack.  The ability to endure is one of the qualities I try to cultivate most in job seekers.

The best example of endurance I know of comes in the form of a concept called The Stockdale Paradox: Admiral James Stockdale was held as a prisoner of war for eight years during the Vietnam War and was tortured in excess of twenty times by his captors. He was able to withstand all of this without losing his mind by employing two seemingly contradictory views that has come to be known as the Stockdale Paradox: “Faith that he would prevail in the end no matter the difficulty and facing that he must confront the worst aspects of his current reality”.

I pray for my job search candidates to have the endurance to prevail in the difficult current reality of the job search.  I pray for them to hang on to God for strength; ordained clergy and formal Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said it best: “It is amazing how much Jesus can be all you need when Jesus is all you got.”

–        Wisdom –  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give it to you James 1:5

Endurance will give you the brute force to survive the job search.  Wisdom will give you the smarts to be successful in the job search.  For many the job search requires a skill set that is not a natural part of the DNA of most people.  The successful job seeker must become a seller and promoter of a product that most people are reluctant to embrace themselves.  Additionally the job search is an opportunity for self-reflection and reinvention.  This kind of transformative work takes courage, brains and above all wisdom.  The Greeks described Wisdom as the judicious application of knowledge. God wants us to be wise; the entire book of Proverbs is designed to teach us wisdom.  “These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom”.  Proverbs 1:1-2.   My prayer is for you to have wisdom in your job search and beyond.

–        Forgiveness But you are a forgiving God!  You are kind and full of mercy. You are patient and full of love. Nehemiah 9:17

Slights both personal and professional are a staple of the job search process.  First you are let go by your previous employer, then you go through the humiliating apologies to family and friends as to why you are not working, next, the protracted job search the unreturned phone calls, the recruiter hijinks of loving you one day and not knowing your name the next, and finally the days, weeks, months and even years of unproductive, uncompensated, unemployment.  These slights can make a person bitter, resentful and angry.

Forgiveness is the bleach that can wipe away those slights, for if we don’t forgive these wounds they won’t heal and we can’t move on. And for the job seeker if you don’t forgive it will make the task of finding a job that much more difficult.   The entire structure of our faith in God is based on opportunity and the promise of forgiveness.  Jesus is the model for our forgiveness my prayer for the job searcher is to follow His model.

scripture❷ Reading Scripture

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  2 Timothy 3:16

Reading scripture daily gives us the foundation for a more imitate and complete relationship with God.  In this post I talked about the importance of praying and the specific items of endurance, wisdom, and forgiveness however as we all know those things don’t happen naturally in the world that we live in.  The stories, commandments, and the word of God contained in scripture gives us the context to reinforce our conversations with God.  It provides a road map showing that our 21 century struggles are not all that new and that victory over them is possible if we follow God’s way.

A practical reason why I advise my clients who want to get God in charge of their job search to read scripture is time.  Work is a big time suck in our lives and so is the work of finding a job.  However we are often not in total control of our time when we are working however, when we are looking for a job we are in more control.  So I advise scheduling a simple 5 minute scripture reading using a source like Our Daily Bread or to follow the scripture teachings in a book like The Christian’s Career Journey: Finding the Job God Designed for You by my good friend Susan Britton Whitcomb.   

Developing daily prayer and scripture reading habits while unemployed will lead to having daily prayer and scripture reading habits when you are again employed. Once the value of these habits are established the excuse of not having enough time to read and to pray will never be used again.

The Bible is the single most important book ever written. It is an eyewitness account of historical events of such magnitude that they have literally shaped the world in which we live.  It is also an action book giving us the blueprints for living a life of grace and peace in the middle the challenges and uncertainty of the job search.

Fellowship❸ Fellowship

Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done. If one person falls, the other person can reach out to help. But those who are alone when they fall have no one to help them. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. 

Finding a job can be a lonely enterprise; support systems and associates from work are gone, family and friends are busy with their own lives and careers…depression can easily set in.   Fellowshipping by getting involved with job search support groups can help with the isolation while providing networking and job searching advice.  Go to Job Hunt.org to find a job search support group near you.

Couple Working in Homeless Shelter ❹ Give of Yourself

Gifts can open many doors and help you meet important people. Proverbs 18:16

Being unemployed is not an opportunity for doing nothing.  Our faith demands that we give our talents back to the communityFrom everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48 

When we are unemployed it may seem like we don’t have much to give back… but oh we do.  Giving back through volunteer work, a missionary trip or just informally helping out is a way to keep our skills sharp and to develop new skills.  It can also lead to a new job to find out our how from the amazing story of Leslie Ross, in my post The Value of Giving Back

The Bottom Line: The Divine Diversion of Unemployment

portrait of a group of people standing togetherThe Lord says, “My thoughts are not like yours. Your ways are not like mine. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 

Unemployment is a diversion in the path of our lives… and even as people of faith we have to wonder why God would allow such a destructive disruption.  However scripture is filled with divine diversions where God has used the trouble encountered to make more of our lives than we would have if we had stuck to our original plans.

Think of Joseph. God diverted him to Egypt to prepare him to rescue God’s chosen people from starvation. Or of Moses, who was diverted from the luxurious lifestyle of Pharaoh’s house to meet God in the wilderness in preparation to lead God’s people toward the Promised Land. Or of Joseph and Mary to whom the angel announced the most significant diversion of all.

Getting God in Charge of Our Job Search transforms the despair of unemployment into a divine diversion where we become closer to God and the true meaning of what He has for our lives.  That is why my prayer for all who are unemployed is to Get God In Charge of Your Job Search.

Marben Bland is a LinkedIn Certified Recruiter, an In demand Job Coach and an Award winning Speaker/Writer.  Visit his website www.marbenbland.com for more posts or contact him at marben@marbenbland.com