Thursday, September 8, 2011

The sanctifying process of looking for a job...

I'm not a big fan of rejection. I know, I know... few people are.

Unless you're a previously established superstar in a specific field, looking for a job is full of rejection. You give someone your resume, you lay out your experience, you try to make an impression and then more often than not they say "Thanks so much for your interest..." (That happens to be the worst opening line of an email to read. It's like asking a girl out and as soon as she responds "I'm really flattered..." you know that you're toast.)

Part of the problem is that interviewing for jobs seems to go completely against what we hold to be true the rest of the time. "Be humble!" and yet interviews seem to be centered around self-promotion. "Think of others higher than yourself" and yet job searching seems to be a process of looking out for yourself rather than others.

Is it possible to look for jobs and still be Christlike?

Well, here's the best answer I could up with.

Keep in mind that it's not like I've actually been successful in finding the job. :p

1. Represent yourself accurately but positively
This is a tight rope for me. I have a hard time trying to make a case of why I should get a job without straying into exaggerations of experiences and skills. The truth is that more often than not I actually undermine my giftedness, skills and experience in an attempt to not come across as full of myself. It isn't a sin to be accurate about those things though. Confidence in who God has made me, the things He's allowed me to do and the skills He's given me to do them is not the same as self-confidence or over-confidence. It's confidence in God's calling.

2. Keep the glory of God as the motivation
This is the easiest to say and the hardest to practice. God's glory is much more motivating than looking for a job out of necessity or because I'm looking for acceptance. Even when I'm hit with the dreaded "We're going in another direction" response I can take joy and satisfaction out of a job pursuit done to please the Lord. If I am truthful in my self-representation and faithful in my taking advantage of the opportunities that I am presented than I can find satisfaction in God and His love for His children.

3. Remember that God is the one who creates jobs
That's right, I can't blame President Obama or Congress because they are just the tools that God uses to do His Will. While I am responsible to go and pursue job opportunities and go to interviews, it is God Himself that provides the job. I can't count on my fingers how many times I have really wanted something only to realize later that it would have been terrible for me. While it would be really nice to be cashing paychecks already I don't necessarily want to be given everything I want. I want to want what God wants for me.

Like #2, this is easier said than done. There really is sanctification found in realizing that I'm at wit's end and need God to provide my needs though. I can't do this myself. I spoke to a youth group last week about clinging to God in the midst of hard times and it is a blessing to say that I need to preach that truth to myself.

Like David in Psalm 13 I'm not sure why God hasn't worked in the way that I need Him to yet. In spite of that though, I can cling to Him and praise Him for all of the ways that He is already blessing me and trust Him to continue His good work. Even when His timing isn't what I'd like it to be, knowing that He is there and that He cares is more than enough for now.

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