Well, that’s a wrap!
I just finished my first year out of college and my first year as a teacher. I started working as a teaching assistant during my last semester of college, then worked as a teaching assistant/school librarian/junior high English and literature teacher for a full school year.
This year was an adventure, and college did not adequately prepare me for the challenges I would face in the work world. If you are starting your career journey, I want to share three lessons I learned the hard way.
1. Try Out New Experiences
All throughout high school, I wondered if I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve since had the privilege of working in this career for about a year and a half. While it was truly a pleasure, I ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. Next, I am going to work for a Christian non-profit, facilitating the organization’s operations.
Even though I ended up switching professions, this year and a half working in education was not a waste of time. I learned valuable skills I can take with me to my new job and concluded once and for all teaching is not my lifelong career.
If you are interested in a career, or if you have more than one interest, I encourage you to volunteer, intern, or get a job in that field. You will never know if a field is the right fit for you unless you try it out.
As we move forward in life, God is able to direct us and show us where to go next and what He has called us to do. But if we never move forward, we make it hard for God to direct us! After all, you can’t steer a parked car. God often directs our steps as we move forward in wisdom and humble reliance on Him.As we move forward in life, God shows us where to go next and what He has called us to do. But we have to move forward. Click To Tweet
Go ahead and move forward, even if you’re not sure it is the right career for you. You will learn more about yourself and the calling God has placed on your life as you try out new opportunities! Trust God to direct your steps as you move forward and make decisions one day at a time (Proverb 16:9).
2. Keep Track of Your Money
Receiving a paycheck (especially after working crazy hard during college and not receiving any money for your labor) is extremely satisfying. Suddenly, you are no longer dependent on your parents footing the bill if you want to eat out or buy clothes.
But I discovered the hard way it is unbelievably easy to spend more money than you think.
For instance, several months this year I spent over one hundred dollars on eating out. I realize this is too much, and plan to cut back in this area. But I never would have known this was a problem area in my spending unless I had been keeping track of my expenses with a budget.
If you are looking for a budgeting tool the Every Dollar app is the way to go! Every Dollar was created by Dave Ramsey’s company. It is super easy to use. I have the free version which is perfect for my needs. I tried the paid version for a little while and didn’t use all the extra features. Start budgeting now! You won’t regret it.
3. Trust God’s Timing
As my former job was wrapping up, I felt scared and nervous. I hadn’t secured a new job yet (though I had gone through the right steps of applying and interviewing). It was frightening to leave the security of my old job without having the new one fully lined up. I had known my season would be short at my teaching job, but it was still scary to be leaving.
But I felt God remind me that the new season I was walking into could be my best and most fulfilling yet! God reminded me that when I’m following His plan, I can have confidence that He will work out all things for my good and for His glory.
And guess what? On the morning of my last day at my former job, I found out I’d gotten the job I had applied for over a month ago! God’s timing is perfect!Transition seasons can be unnerving, but there is so much good ahead when you are following the calling God has on your life! You can trust God’s timing and you can trust Him with your future. Click To Tweet
Transition seasons can be unnerving, but there is so much good ahead when you are following the calling God has on your life! You can trust God’s timing and you can trust Him with your future.
The Future is Bright
This adjustment period between finishing school and starting a career is crazy, but it is also a time of incredible growth. Lean into it. Keep following the call God has on your life. Keep putting Christ first and foremost, and He will direct you to where you need to go. Seek to be a good steward of resources He’s given you. And always remember, all of your times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15).