August 31, 2012

Interviewing for a job

About the time I finished school, a new bred of job placement companies had begun to spring up all over the place. The idea was for you to fill out a bunch of forms about your interests, education, and previous work experience (I had none), then talk to a local career placement person who would match you up as closely as possible with jobs in the area that needed to be filled. If that potential employer hired you, the placement company then received one-fourth to one-half of one month’s income as payment for their service.

Today government services have something similar for free, and so do Internet services. This sounds great, but the one-on-one rapport and local-to-local support is just not there. However, all the news about the jobless rate had given me no cause to pause to consider this until my now-grown children told me, “I don’t know how to get a job!” It occurred to me then that might be true for you or your now-grown children too.

Lord knows, Christians are worthy of their hire! In fact, the Lord says that clearly in Luke 10:7. The first step, however, is to know what God wants you to do. Perhaps that might be to go into journalism or host a Christian talk show or work on a medical team that will help you prepare for a mission trip someday. Or maybe you need a job to pay the bills but not drain your creativity as you focus on your writing ministry.

Remember, too, that Christian poets and writers have the joy of knowing that any job or career will give you something to write about, so nothing is ever wasted! And, in Christ, we especially need to remember – again and again in the Christian life – that all things will and do come together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28.)

With those pivotal thoughts in mind, consider these suggestions:

Pray.

Listen.

Be honest with yourself about yourself.

Forget about money for a minute. (Yes, I know you need it. So do I, but this cannot be the guiding force in life, and you know why! To refresh: “No one can serve two rulers for you will hate the one, and love the other; or you will hold to the one and disdain the other. You cannot serve God and money,” Matthew 6:24. You can, of course, serve God and get money, but you cannot get God and serve money. That's just how it is.)

List a key word for anything you suspect you’re “good at” or feel drawn at all to do.

List your natural talents and God-given gifts, whether they seem marketable or not.

Also list any experience God has given you or education provided in your areas of interest.

Pray for God to bring all of the above together and to bring to mind job possibilities for what makes you uniquely you.

Look for work in that area, even if it's only a starter position.

If asked to apply online, follow the guidelines. Then arrange to follow up with a one-on-one, local-to-local meeting, so the potential employer can see you face to face and see that glow of God in your eyes. (If you care about God, you have it. I promise!)

Also, very important at any in-person interview, relax! Take that proverbially calming deep breath, and be yourself - your best self, of course :)

Most importantly, trust God your Heavenly Father to love you enough to know what you need, to close doors that aren’t quite right for you, and to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction – right because it’s right for you.

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©2012, Mary Harwell Sayler.

May God bless you and the work to which you have been called.

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