It was all on the go, at least most of the time, when the schedules are loaded and the weeks pass by just like days.
In a typical day, the alarm buzzes off. The sky just got a lil bright. It’s time to get ready for work, or an early morning class of the week. Whoosh, the queue is so long. The music is playing in the ears. Checked the emails. Let’s get rolling. It’s time for lunch finally, after one morning. It’s Wednesday, the longest day with heaping assignments but anyway, it’s half-way through the week! A call from the customer comes in. A meeting is scheduled in the afternoon. This part of the project is taking more time than expected. Gotta dive deeper into the client’s reports and data. It’s half-way through the semester again, 3 midterms and 2 quizzes are lined up over the next 2 weeks. An email for enrolling for the next semester comes in. A career path is questioned. The same question on what courses to take lingers in the mind. Someone is having birthday next week. Gift, party, assignments, weekend, friends. It’s turning to a junior year next year. Applications for internship have not gotten any news yet. Another set of questions kicks in, full-time job, relocation, living wage, savings, relationships, graduate school. It’s been a year working here. Some goals are achieved, some are not yet. A better prospect seems to be in another firm, but there are other things I miss in this company. Children just received their grade reports. Where and how should help be given. The car breaks down this morning, while I was heading to work. To each individual, everyday is set on a motion, while uncertainties are a constant part of life.
It is at this moment, when uncertainties remain while everyday is not in a motion. A period when the job is loss or forgone due to unanticipated life happenings, or the hype of graduation was further and further few months ago.
Just before life transition happens, there is at least something to work on and to be expected. But, after that, what is left are the uncertainties. And, the longer it is, the longer the frustration surmounts. Job applications were submitted, countless time was spent on job searching and form filling, first-round interviews were made, but still nothing concrete is heard of yet. Soon, it is an emotional roller coaster day after day. To some or many, rent and bills, food, income or reserve, social circle, visa concerns, and even the direction of life would not stop bothering. It is not a depression state, but being depressed or the absence of joy is an everyday routine. More doubts flood in later, whether it is a problem of qualification or experience, networking, major, or GPA that is hindering me from getting a job. It is a desperate state after countless times of hearing the word, “Rejected”, and seeing oasis disguised as false hopes.
Watching this period of unemployment is like looking for the silver lining that highlights strength, wisdom, and the final moment of breakthrough. But, going through this period personally carries much emotional challenges of maintaining integrity (and sanity). It could also be a time when the trust in God is questioned.
A MATTER OF WILL – TRUST IN GOD
1. Reclaiming identity in who God made us to be.
Money, power, and status do not define one’s worth. God has ordained since the creation of man of his/her dignity.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” — Genesis 1:27
No matter how demotivated, low in productivity, fearful, burned out, and looked down upon, your value is not defined by your employment state. You could be working and still face struggles and challenges amid employment. Your very life exists and is being molded to be a person to share in His glory. You are very much valued in God’s eyes.
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” — Isaiah 43:6–7
God has established work as a manifestation of creation and its beauty. Amid unemployment, you can still make minor accomplishments and pick up along the way. He intends you to live your life gloriously as He created you to be.
2. Perfect timing and turn-outs.
When we play god and struggle over the control of uncertainties, we are not doing it right.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” — Proverbs 16:9
We should plan and take steps over uncertainties. However, turn-outs might occur in ways we do not expect, and there are times we might struggle to accept them at the first sight. Yet, as we draw closer to God to what He wills and says, we will find ourselves navigating through complicated times and issues with lesser burdens borne. Surprisingly, events unfold with the right people or things present at the right time at the right place. It is usually a reasonable and logical thread of events, but coined together so perfectly that an artificial (manmade) repeat might not produce the same fidelity (exactness). As a token of grace/gift, miracles do happen but the matured ones know how to live within the miracle day by day.
3. A lil more matured you.
Maturity is not proportional to age or experiences, although contemporary assumption says otherwise. Maturity strengthens the core of a person, and shares its joyous fruits to the surrounding people. It is not “contagious”, but empowering.
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” — James 1:4
God is carefully walking you through the challenges, to grow you into a person whom He has in mind — glorious, beautiful, matured, complete, wise, empathizing, gracious, kind, loving …
The next time someone significant in your life goes through a life crisis, you are not pulled down by the destructive forces, but you are able to lead him/her through calmly and with sound discretion.
4. Enjoying the relationship with God.
Last but not the final, it is an unemployment moment that could steer you towards an intriguing journey with God. A relationship developed with God is not likened to a blind faith, or a paternalistic (forced) submission, or a superstitious unintelligent act. These descriptions only fit when we try to fit God into our own definition or expectation, and by our wishes (like treating a genie) and works. When God does not act according to our ways and thoughts, we are learning that He is God.
As we take in the perspective of God by His words, we may willfully embrace the bigger picture, the “real, tangible, actionable purposes” in our life (1). Some tit bits of what entails a relationship with God describes, it is a trustworthy relationship with a faithful God even though we may fail.
MOVING FORWARD AMID UNEMPLOYMENT
In practice, unemployment would not be changed unless we take steps to seek for employment. Previously, we might have treated each job application as an end to a potential job. However, it is most effective to treat them as a means. That would translate to keep working on securing a job offer until you take the offer, even if the recruitment processes are long and seemingly redundant for multiple positions. Through all in all, remain productive everyday:
- Industry & company job research
- Networking (cold contact/connections)
- Quality & quantity of applications
- Developing expertise (learning & applying beyond the actual job)
- Social life
- Reassess, re-strategize, refocus, revise plan
- Don’t ditch God amid busyness
Enjoy your take-home message!
1. Marshall Segal. (2015). The joy of graduation and the crisis of joblessness. Retrieved from: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-joy-of-graduation-and-the-crisis-of-joblessness