Saturday, October 29, 2011

08.14.2011 How to Get a Job

I got a job right out of college. It was the first job I applied for, and it sounded good, so I didn't even talk to God about it, just went ahead and accepted the position.

A month later, I realized it was the worst job I had ever had, and I started praying about a new one. I asked God to clearly show me where I should work and close doors to any place that wasn't good for me. One time, I showed up for an interview and the company had completely forgotten about it so the employer wasn't even in the office. I walked out of there with a huge smile, confident that God had kept me from a second worst-job-in-the-world.

Another time, I had an interview at a print advertising agency. The man I met with asked me about 5-year goals and other typical long-term dreams. I told him that I didn't see myself staying in advertising very long and that I couldn't promise I would be with his company for 5 years, or even for 3 months.

He called me in for a second interview. And a third.

My third interview was with the president of the company, the day after I returned from my honeymoon. He only asked me one question, about a line on my resume related to a mission trip that I had taken that spring. I asked if he was comfortable with me talking about God, and he said I could share whatever I wanted. So I told him my story, how in the last year I had gone from being a passionate athiest to a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing follower of Christ.

I walked out of that office, got into my car, dropped my head onto the steering wheel, and said, "Lord, either you really want me to get this job or there is absolutely no way I'm getting hired!" I mean, seriously, who spends an entire interview talking about Jesus to the president of an advertising agency?!?

A week later, the man who had first interviewed me called to offer me the job with a typical starting salary for an inexperienced (my degree is in Political Science) fresh-out-of-college kid.

But the story doesn't end here. Because in the week between my Jesus-blaring interview and that exciting phone call, some things had changed. Michael and I had decided that God was telling us that Michael shouldn't work full-time [this was a month before he was called into seminary]. This meant that I would be fully supporting us and that the starting salary offered me would not be enough. So I regretfully turned down the job.

The next day, the man called me back and asked me what salary would change my mind.

I was rightfully stunned. Here was this company, whom I had told I couldn't even commit to for the next 3 months, for which I had absolutely no related experience, and to whom I had blatantly exposed my spiritual beliefs, asking me how much money I wanted in order to accept the position. Without thinking, I blurted out a number 15% higher than the original offer.

I have no idea how normal negotiating works. I don't like to play games; I'm a tell-it-straight kind of gal. So I truly did not expect this amazing organization to actually call me back, agree to my salary request, and hand me the job.

I'll be honest: I didn't like working in corporate America. But God richly blessed me with an unbelieveable workplace, incredible co-workers, and the kindest boss possible. He used this job to humble, challege, and mature me as a Christian, in more ways than I would want to admit. But it started with giving me the confidence to be completely honest and upfront in the workplace. I believe that one reason I have been so blessed in my jobs is that I have never been ashamed of the gospel or of my identity in Christ. I have never hesitated to speak the truth about what God is doing in my life and how I am following him.

Sure enough, almost exactly three years later, I moved on from that remarkable company. I gave them 5 months notice, as soon as I knew God was leading me elsewhere. And every job since then has been similarly God-led, so clearly marked out for me and blessed beyond measure. I give thanks that I have never had reason to question, even for a moment, that I was exactly where God wanted me to be, and that, with such knowledge, I can experience the spirit of power, of love, and of discipline that God has granted to me (2 Tim 1:7).

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