Are You Looking to Expand Your Career Territory?

I Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

With the end of the year approaching at warp speed, I imagine I’m not alone in the busy-ness of the season. In fact, I’ve been so busy, I’ve pretty much neglected this blog, but the Lord is so faithful in guiding my steps that he’s redirected me toward it (Proverbs 16:9) using the above scriptures as divine inspiration. He is SO good!

There was a time in my life that I didn’t pray with any regularity. Even though I believed in God, at least theoretically, I didn’t believe that the Lord had any time or interest in actually responding to my prayers. I figured he had to have better things to do. My old mindset: Really, who am I — small and insignificant — to think God Almighty has the time to respond personally to me? New mindset: I now know that He does because He shows me all the time, and even though I’ve had a relationship with Him for more than 13 years, each time He reaches out to me, I’m still a little shocked and deeply humbled.

Okay, so back to the scriptures above, let’s consider the following:

  1. Jabez was honorable — more honorable than his brothers.
  2. He petitioned God for what he wanted. He prayed for the Lord to enlarge his territory (I would think this meant more land, more flocks, more riches), and (drumroll, please) God granted his request.
  3. He asked for the Lord’s blessing or “favor,” and he asked the Lord to be with him and protect him. He didn’t just rush out on his own to try to enlarge his own territory because he knew that would be a waste of his time.

So, what does all this mean? Why did the Lord answer Jabez’s prayer? What can you and I take away from this?

  1. Being honorable isn’t just a great brand attribute, it’s important to finding favor with the Lord!
  2. Jabez was smart because he recognized that he could do nothing apart from the Lord (John 15:5,8).
  3. It’s okay to set material goals for ourselves, and if we’re honorable and if it’s God’s will, He will grant our request(s).
  4. The Lord wants us to ask for what we want, and if we don’t ask, we don’t get. (James 4:2)

How would you like the Lord to expand your territory in the new year? Think about it, but don’t just think about it. Write down your goals in exquisite detail. Then live honorably, pray, and ask God to bless you, be with you, and keep you from harm.

Where to Look for Divine Career Guidance

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you, and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

For those who may be wondering why I haven’t blogged in a while, I decided to take the summer off because:

1. We moved to a new house on June 26th, and I wanted to pack, unpack, and get settled. In case anyone is wondering, we love our new house. We’re 100% unpacked; we’ve painted four rooms; and finished a minor renovation (with the help of an amazingly talented general contractor, RMR, whom I’m certain was hand-picked for us by the Lord himself) — thank you very much. 😉

2. We went on vacation. It was so nice to get away and spend some time alone with my hubby of 18 years! and …

3. The most important reason: I wanted to spend some time enjoying my three wonderful sons while they had the summer off.

Anyhoo, I’m back now and excited to be blogging once again.

I’ve been praying about some pretty big things lately — some personal and some professional. I have some BIG questions for the Lord, but I haven’t been hearing his answers. Perhaps you can relate?

Recently, I was texting Dear Son Number One to ask him a question, and I was astounded by how quickly he replied (like most teens, he texts at warp speed). His response was almost instantaneous, and I thought, “Wow, if only the Lord sent us text messages…”

And then I realized He does send us text messages but not on our phones — through His holy word, a.k.a. the bible.

Are you praying about some big things in your life? Would you like a text message from the Lord? Look in the bible, and remember He will teach you the way you should go, and He will look over you and watch you.

Thank you, Father, for your abundant provisions in my life. Thank you for giving us an instruction book to guide us. Thank you for your perfect love, and most of all, thank you for your forgiveness. Amen.

Another Reason to Worship

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

According to studies done by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Wall Street Journal, 48% of jobseekers and 24% of employers search for jobs/employees through “places of worship.”

As a career coach, resume writer, and job search strategist, the most common mistake I see job seekers make in searching for a job is a profound lack of networking.

Please do not post your resume online, and then sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing. Statistically speaking, less than 10% of jobseekers find their next position this way. As my dear friend, Susan Whitcomb said, “It’s either network or not-work.”

Okay, so you know you should be networking but you say you don’t know where to go. Why not start off by worshipping regularly at your local church, temple, or mosque? Find out if they have a careers ministry.

As added bonuses for attending worship services regularly, you will please the Lord and find encouragement and hope. This is really a big deal, because along with the mechanics of job search, you need the right mindset.

Consider volunteering too. Nothing gets your mind off your problems like helping someone else with their problems. And few things feel as good as the blessing you will receive when you cheer someone up with a kind word of your own. (Proverbs 12:25)

Death, Taxes, and Career Trouble

John 16:33 I told you these things so you could have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. 

You’ve probably heard the expression before − There are only two things you can count on − death and taxes. While I agree that death and taxes are a certainty, they aren’t the only ones. You can also count on facing adversity at some point in your life and God’s absolute and unwavering love for you.

Regardless of who you are or what you do, you will face adversity in this world. We all do − every single one of us− either in our personal relationships, our health, or in our career, but the Lord wants us to be brave and find our peace in Him.

If you’re facing uncertainty, if your stock portfolio is dwindling, if your job is in jeopardy, or you’re having trouble even finding a job, cry out to the Lord. Remember who your daddy really is and that He loves you and that there is absolutely no adversity that He can’t overcome.

Keys to a More Abundant Career

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Since time immemorial, mankind has faced distractions — both internal and external. Author, Steven Pressfield calls these distractions resistance, and in his book, The War of Art, he says “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, or erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.”

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “What you resist persists.” What are you resisting in your career? Is it networking, marketing, development? What can you do to make your task more palatable? If you feel overwhelmed, how can you break up your big to-do items and make them more manageable? Here are three options for you to consider:  do, defer, or delegate. Wherever you are in your life or career, what would you have to believe to trust that the Lord has you exactly where you’re supposed to be?

Take the words “should” and “have to” out of your vocabulary and replace them with “choose to” and “get to.” You don’t “have to” write your resume — perhaps writing isn’t your thing, and the truth is that if that’s the case, hiring a professional resume writer might very well be the smartest thing you can do. You don’t “have to” network. If you go to a networking even with that attitude, it will sabotage your success. Why not go instead with a strategy for making networking comfortable?

Byron Katie or Katie as she’s known says that “Reality is always more kind than the story we tell about it.” If you’re telling a story about reality that has you feeling less than abundant, consider changing your story. Remember, the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus came that you may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)