I was 18 years old, had just graduated from college with my BA, and was ready to take on the world. Finding a job was going to be easy. I mean, who wouldn’t want someone who was enthusiastic and could work hard?
Um, no. Finding a job did not turn out to be easy like I expected. On the contrary, it was hard – really hard. Yet I learned some lessons along the way that I know will help me and may encourage you as well.
1. Your job status is not a reflection of who you are.
I have been a student for the past 13 years. More than that, if you count kindergarten and preschool. “Student” was my status. It was what I did every day and something I could always fall back on.
Suddenly, for the first time, I wasn’t a student anymore. That didn’t seem too bad for a while. Then after I started applying for jobs… and applying for jobs… and applying for jobs… I wished I could go back to that secure state of being a student. I felt on-edge and insecure.
I was lying in bed one night, frustrated that I’d applied for over 30 jobs and had gotten no good responses on any of them, when it dawned on me. I am a child of God. My security should not be in whether I have a job or not, whether I’m a student, whether I have an answer when someone asks me what I’m doing. My security lies in the fact that I am loved by God and am saved by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
That realization helped me. Of course, I didn’t instantly lose my fears and frustration. But remembering where I find my security, my status, when the world seems like it’s crashing in, helps me put my focus back where it belongs: on Jesus Christ my Savior.
2. Always take your parents’ advice.
One thing my dad told me when I asked him about jobs was that I should go in to the business to apply. I like to use technology for everything, and that includes applying for jobs. I don’t mind talking on the phone, but going somewhere to apply was out of the question.
Finally, I decided to go in because a store didn’t have a way to apply online. I was given an impromptu interview by the manager who took my application. Just before I left, the manager said that I only received the interview because I came in to apply. I had to apologize to my dad later, and although he didn’t say “I told you so,” he certainly could have!
3. Be ready to do some hard things.
I believe God’s called me to be a missionary, and I’ve thought about teaching English as one way to do that. The only problem is that I’ve never been in a traditional classroom and have no clue what teaching is like. My mom suggested I go to an English class at the local university taught by someone at our church. I didn’t want to go, but didn’t have an answer. Later, I began to think. Why was I hesitating?
The parking. I’d heard that it was hard to park at this university, and I’d never been there, and I was driving a 15-passenger van, and I have parking difficulties. Realizing this was pathetic, I decided to go for it. God is so good when we trust Him! I was able to ride with someone else and they parked. Face your fears! Be strong and courageous! You may find that your biggest fear is a parking garage.
When I starting writing this, I was discouraged. Yes, I’d learned a lot, but I’d applied to over 60 jobs and hadn’t found a single one yet. I had never thought it would be this hard.
God’s ways are completely different than ours, though! That very week when I called yet another place, a brain training center, to ask about jobs, I was asked to come in for an interview. After the interview I was told that if I was interested, training started in two days. Not only am I now working there, but God has blessed me with a job that is super fun! God always goes above and beyond our expectations.
I think God loves to show us that He’s in control. In the few weeks since I took the job I’ve received call-backs from several other places. God provided the job He had for me, and then showed me that He was in charge of all the other ones, too!
I’m no longer looking for a job, and I’m sure I’ll learn more than I could imagine from the jobs I’ve found. Yet I’m so thankful for the time God gave me to be at home with my family and learn from Him as well. There are so many things I’ve learned that I’m not sure I would have otherwise.
Remember this: He’s a good God and you can trust Him – even when you can’t see what He’s doing!