In the process of looking for jobs, young professionals often succumb to the corporate world and lose sight of their vision and who they are. However, knowing oneself, and God’s plan for your career, is extremely important during job hunting.
Tedx Speaker and author Simon Sinek came up with a revolutionary idea called “Start with Why.” During his talk, he continuously emphasized this idea of “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek discussed how famous individuals such as Steve Jobs and the Wright Brothers came up with ideas that revolutionized the world even though there were others around them that had the same capacity to do so. According to Sinek, what distinguishes these individuals is that they communicate the main driving force or the “why” behind their ideas instead of merely saying what their idea is.
Indeed, Sinek’s point of using “why” is revolutionary and gives us a new perspective on careers and how God plays a role in it. Ultimately, if God is your “Why,” he will guide you in the right path and into the right career path. Ask these questions:
- What talents has he given to me?
- What kind of environment is he calling me to work in?
- Has he created me as someone who likes social interaction? If not, what jobs would be the best fit for me?
- How much money do I want to make while still putting God first and finances second?
Ah yes, the dreaded money question. Although money is a tricky issue, its still something that needs to be considered. Be honest with yourself regarding how much you should make with your living situation and look for jobs that fit your needs. Do your research regarding the average wage of your position before discussing pay with your employer and do not just accept a low offer for no good reason and expecting a raise in the near future. The organization Glassdoor, a reputable career database, has stated that this does not happen 99% of the time. If you have prayed about it and thought it through, there is no reason to accept anything less, as it will only hurt you and even your future family in the long run.
Sinek states that this approach of using “why” is what makes inspiring leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. said “I have a dream” and not “I have a plan.” He said what his beliefs were and it resonated to those around him and attracted people to him. When you find the right job, and you’re sitting in that office, nervously waiting for your interview, take a minute to examine yourself and ask “Why” you really want this job. Don’t just say profit, which is a result and not a purpose, as Sinek says, but instead ask how this job would accomplish your vision and mission for the future. Going into the interview with this mindset will help you be more confident throughout the interview and help out with those “Tell us a little bit about yourself” questions.
However, even with using “why” and leaning on the Lord for guidance, the path will still be long and challenging. You will probably receive a couple of rejection letters or even not receive anything, after that first interview and maybe even a couple more following that. To make matters worse, your well-intentioned friends and family might continuously remind you about it by asking “Oh how’s that interview you said you aced?” or “Do you have a job yet?” However, these moments are actually where a “why” and a bigger purpose will help you. In a recent article I read from the Huffington Post, the author stated that the number one skill in the workforce is surprisingly not two years of experience with Photoshop but instead “tenacity”. The ability to stay resilient after failure and persistently holding on to your “Why” is how you build up your character and continue working towards success. Thomas Edison took 10,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb. You may fail many times before finally landing the right job.
While a lot of people out there would just say “Follow Your Dreams,” I think this is way too simplistic as your dream will not always be what is good for you. Only by leaning to the Lord as your identity and purpose in job hunting will you be able to choose the right career path and be able to present yourself as someone with ambition and vision.