Written By Lisa Loh, Singapore
“You are the future generation and you can change the world.”
So we are told repeatedly in university, and it is with this mindset that we enter the working world as bright-eyed fresh graduates, full of hope and expectation. But the reality is quite different.
Over the few months after graduation, I applied for various job, but kept getting rejected by one company after another. Soon, my friends and I were exchanging stories about our failed attempts to enter the job market.
Imagine the exhilaration I felt when I finally got called for an interview! Having been taught that showing confidence would increase my chances of getting the job, I went all out to position myself as Ms I-Can-Change-The-World (or, in this case, Ms I-Know-It-All-And-Am-Therefore-The-Best-Fit). I oversold myself by pitching my internship experience as a perfect match, even though what I had done didn’t really have anything to do with the position I was interviewing for.
By God’s grace, I got the job. The next two years, however, turned out to be a roller-coaster ride. The expectations and working styles of my bosses and colleagues were completely different from what I had envisioned, resulting in much disappointment on both sides. The job itself was a mismatch: I could not excel in the tasks I was given, and I found the work unfulfilling. This hit my confidence badly, and I started to believe that I really wasn’t good in anything.
About half a year into the job, I was tasked to work on a project with a colleague. Due to differences in our working styles and personalities, I encountered much difficulty and felt like I was running into a wall on a daily basis. However, God in His wisdom knew when I had reached my threshold, and provided a new boss to oversee the project, which made it much better for me. It was a testament of God’s constant faithfulness, goodness, and deliverance.
Looking back, I realize that those two years had been a time of molding. It was a period where I learned to place my confidence solely on God’s providence and grace, instead of my own ability. It was also during that period that I learned what one’s identity in Christ means, which is a beloved child of God made in His image. I learned to recognize that my strength came from God alone, and not from me (Isaiah 30:15). I learned to let go and trust God to cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28-29).
So, whether or not I get the results I aim for in work, or the promotion I strive for, my confidence should not be shaken, because it is placed in God.
If you ask me now what I would have done differently in that first interview had I relied more on God, I know that I would not have given the interviewers the false perception that I had all the answers. Instead, I would have admitted humbly when I didn’t. And I would have trusted God to decide if I would get the job or not.
Recently, I applied for a new job and felt prompted to follow up with a personal email to the head of the team. Although the thought that “nobody really does this” made me hesitate initially, I decided to listen to the prompting. Instead of overselling myself like I did the first time, I explained honestly why I was seeking a job change, and shared realistically about how I could contribute to the team.
Despite this being a completely different industry with an unfamiliar job scope, I felt a sense of calmness throughout the process. My confidence came from the assurance that God would have it all planned out. I knew that I just needed to try my best, and God would work all things out for my good—even if it meant closing the door.
A week later, I was signing my employment contract. God had graciously opened the doors and taken me into another season of life—I give Him full glory and thanksgiving!
So far, this new job has been nothing short of fulfilling and exciting. Of course, I still face difficulties and still make mistakes, but people around me have been forgiving and patient with me. I believe it is the result of God’s constant grace and faithfulness in my life.
Are you going through such a change in your life? I encourage you to never forget who you are in Christ. You are God’s beloved child, created in His own image (Genesis 1:27), regardless of the job you hold, or the designation written on your business card.
Don’t let your job search make or break you. Instead, make it your priority to present your true self as God’s child, and leave the rest to Him.