I’ve been seriously looking for a job since March, 2014 (unseriously for even longer…) If you’ve looked for a job recently, you know how fun it is.
My journey went something like this:
- March, 2014: had small crisis that was more than likely going to require a lot of money to resolve. Decided I needed to get a job to remedy the situation. Scoured job search engines for approximately 2,039 hours, only to discover 93% of the links were broken, out dated, or bait and switches. The other 7% appeared legit but didn’t list locations or pay information. In order to become privy to the name of the company, I had to register, at which time they a) signed me up for 42 email lists that didn’t pertain whatsoever to my search criteria I had meticulously entered and b) gave me the name of the company and a way to submit an application which I would never hear back about ever from any of these companies.
- April, 2014: reached the end of the internet. THE END. Still no job, although, several applications were sent, and, I’m sure, are still sitting in some dummy email account no human will ever check. God remedied our small crisis Himself in glorious fashion. Decided it would still be wise for me to get a job in case the crisis emerged again. Told people I was looking for a job in case anyone had a hook up. They did not.
- May, 2014: felt discouraged.
- June, 2014: quit looking for a job.
- July, 2014-October, 2014: ate ice cream in large quantities.
- November, 2014: enrolled in seminary because it’s more fun to SPEND money than to earn it.
- December, 2014: remembered the reason for the season.
- January, 2015: began aforementioned seminary degree.
- February, 2015: remembered I was supposed to be looking for a job. Repeated the process from March, 2014.
- March, 2015: felt discouraged. Told more people I was looking for a job in case anyone had a hook up. They all thought, “Seriously? It’s been like a year since you started looking. Frankly, we’re tired of hearing about it.” Ok, no one said that because my friends are too amazing, but I’m sure they thought it. I was tired of hearing about it…
- April, 2015: began to feel more in need of a job than ever due to our perceived need to and leading from God to move out of our neighborhood. Repeated the process from March, 2014.
- May, 2015: tired of making negative zero headway job hunting, I quit again and decided homelessness wouldn’t be so bad. Especially in Florida. Looked for beachfront RV resorts to accommodate our new lifestyle.
- Late May, 2015: decided to trust God was hand-crafting a job for me and He would bring it when He was good and ready.
- June 1st-ish, 2015: my mother-in-law saw a small need for help where she works and talked to her boss about it. He saw a much larger need and decided now was the time to create a new position. She suggested he interview me.
- June 3rd, 2015: had the interview. Liked the employer, felt capable of meeting his needs, and was pleasantly surprised the job was going to meet ALL of my 34 needs in a job (more on that later) as well as 5 of my nit-picky preferences.
- June 8th, 2015: was offered the position.
- June 10th, 2015: started my job.
I tell you all that to say this: 1) job hunting on the internet is for the birds, and 2) God knows our needs and will meet them when He sees fit to meet them, whether you hit your head against the wall fruitlessly googling “ANY JOB THAT PAYS MONEY. ANY JOB AT ALL,” or not.
(To be fair, my husband found his current job, which is a perfect fit for him, on Craigslist. Like, the first time he entered a search term. It’s a super annoying story.)
Not only will God meet our needs when the timing is best to do so, He will do so in ways that far surpass what we’d “settle for” if job search engines really worked.
Listen to this ridiculous list of non-negotiables I had (as a result of the goals we have for our own family. It’s perfectly wonderful if you don’t have the same goals for your family. No judgment here. Don’t send me emails.):
- 20 hours/wk. No more, no less. (I need two days each week to continue seminary, so I can only work 3.)
- Work day over by 2:30p at least two of the three days I work. (I would work anywhere as long as I did not have to put my kids in aftercare. It’s important to me to pick them up from school and have the late afternoons with them the majority of the time.)
- Flexibility to shift days I work around so I can be free to go on field trips and attend programs and parties and other tomfoolery at my kids’ school. (Again, I would work anywhere that would allow me to do this because my kids will only want me to come to school events for so long…)
- At least $__/hr. (We knew what I had to make, minimum, in order for us to feel comfortable moving.)
- 30 minute or less commute. (In the Memphis area, this is totally reasonable. Add in the fact that when my kids are out of school I have to drive them 25 minutes to the baby sitter before I can even start making my way to my office, this really translates to an hour commute, each way.)
Not only could I not find a job without these specifications, finding one with them seemed impossible. But I had to stick to my guns. While I was busy running into dead ends on the internet, it turns out God was doing what He’s always doing: sitting quietly in the background, arranging the puzzle pieces of the world, including my life, one at a time. And in the case of my job, it seems He was making a more beautiful picture than I could’ve guessed.
Not only was every single non-negotiable met or exceeded, God threw in very personal “extras” just to make me happy because He loves me.
- I’m working for a ministry. (I had basically given up the idea of getting paid to do what I love – teach the Bible. And while I am not doing that directly in this job, the things I am doing enable others to disciple and evangelize more people all over the world, and I am excited to contribute in a supporting role.)
- I’m doing work that actually interests me. (I am assisting this ministry in web development and internet marketing, among other things. I have heavily dabbled in these areas since 2008, sometimes for pay, but mostly for fun. The dabbling has led to a fairly proficient knowledge of some of these things, and now I get to use those skills for work. I’ll also get to learn new skills that excite the computer nerd in me. There has also been talk of allowing me to write.)
- I get to work with several people I already know and love.
- My primary office is housed in a gorgeous retreat center that’s a relaxing environment to work in.
- Because I don’t work with clients directly most of the time, JEANS!
- The coffee is not awful. In fact, it is palatable. (Who am I kidding, this should have been on the non-negotiable list…)
If any of you are still reading, I’ll end with this: see? See how God knows and cares and works everything for our good (Romans 8:28)? See how God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)? Sometimes we need to hear stories like mine to inspire us to really believe those scriptures when life gets hard and those scriptures don’t necessarily feel true.
He loves you. He’s for you. He’s got you.