Job search status: Pep talk


(Originally posted 12/26/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

A week ago today I had a highly successful interview at a dollar store. There may be one obstacle that, if it’s there, cannot be overcome; but if it’s not there, I’ll have to take a drug test and go for a second interview at which the actual job offer will be made. In the days since, there have been some communications glitches. Meanwhile, time goes on.

This morning in my last five minutes at Lenny’s, I prayed about this, reflecting on (1) my disappointment to have had no word so far and (2) the path by which I got here.

I just completed a two-month “job readiness” program … not as if I needed any program to make me “ready” for a job, but this one is unique in that while one is taking classes, they have scouts hunting down specific job opportunities that well match each candidate. That is the big factor I see missing for most people in the big picture.

Was the class a waste of time? When I enrolled, I felt sure this was the right path. For eight weeks, I showed my diligence and commitment to classmates, instructors and my friends. I have a more effective resume now, and many more allies. And the job scout lined me up with this opportunity. Yet here I sit, in limbo a week later.

Whether or not the obstacle exists is a two-year old, unchanging fact, not subject to anyone’s decision.[1] As such, the information is available to any clairvoyant, and I’m surprised none of us has yet found it out. All of this only confirms to me again that God does not know the future and does not have a “plan.”[2]

What if this job doesn’t work out? How am I to regard my current situation? What advice would I give others in this situation? Will I take my own advice?

(1) If you fall down, get back up. From time to time in life, you will fall (or be knocked) down. Get back up.

(2) I reflected this morning on recent events that raised or lowered my sense of hope. As the marshmallow test shows, events can do that. But you need also to learn to create hope from within your own heart. For example:

(3) Do you see obstacles, or opportunities? If you attend enough to opportunities, obstacles may vanish. For example:

Isaiah 40:4: “Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.” The shortest path to my goal may curve this way and that, and have hills and valleys. But for the person who truly takes things in stride, it will appear straight and level.

My walk from Lenny’s to the library became a practical example of what I have just said. Wet snow had come on in the previous hour, and was still falling heavily, and walking conditions were bad. I was especially concerned about the rough brick pavement around the Shot Tower. I decided to relax and take it easy on the walk, as the more rushed and tense I was the more likely I might be to slip. That seemed to work.

The trip normally takes me half an hour. Today it took 25 minutes.


[1]Specifically, I had worked for that company at a different store before, and got fired. I may or may not be eligible for re-hire.
[2]The sort of plan set forth in the tract, “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?”

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