Jump directly to the content
Finding a Job that Works for You and for GodDee Speed / Flickr

Finding a Job that Works for You and for God


Mar 7 2016
Tips for overcoming job-hopping, career confusion, and ‘vocational scrambling.’

I was unemployed and bored. My husband and I had moved to a new town, and I desperately sought work, blitzing my resume to whoever would look at it. I applied to be a math teacher, freshman comp instructor, legal studies online coordinator, technical writer, Sunday school curriculum writer, and the editor of an ecology periodical. Fern at the local temp agency finally found me a position.

It took only two days of cold-calling Southern Illinois businesses to sell ads for a local veteran’s organization I knew nothing about for me to realize I hadn’t been desperate for just any job. A “Multi-Careering” guide put out by the Barna Group notes: “People demand jobs that mean something, that change the world, that fulfill them, and that they’re passionate about.” That was me. Trying to find a job that met all of those qualifications left me clamoring for something meaningful to do with my trainings and passions.

One of my Old Testament professors in seminary, Richard Averbeck, put scrambling in theological perspective for me. He described a “biblical psychopathology” for how people deal with sin, the last stage being scrambling—people “scurrying about trying desperately to handle themselves, each other, God, and the world.” Now I’m not ready to classify vocational scrambling as sin—perhaps, in some cases, it is—but, as I reflect back, scrambling describes precisely what I was doing: vocational scrambling. Like trying to catch a fish with my bare hands, I tried to grasp any job that I could. It didn’t matter how much I had to manipulate my image on a resume to do it.

So many of my friends had gone through similar periods of searching. One quit her job in healthcare after spending a few weeks wondering whether it was the right fit for her. Over the next few months, she mused over a range of options, from starting a baking business (something she enjoys) to becoming a real estate agent (something that pays well).

In today’s economy, the notion of a singular career path or trajectory is increasingly rare. A woman with a law degree may teach your yoga class. Your favorite Etsy seller may have been working a 9-to-5 office job a year ago. As Fast Companywrites:

If a new opportunity comes along, the mind-set is this: "If I don’t like what I’m doing; if I’m not being paid well for my skill set; if I’m not in a job that’s utilizing my training and education, why would I stay?"

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
Why Complementarian Men Need Complementarian Women

Why Complementarian Men Need Complementarian Women

In the midst of our civil war on the Trinity, we need to put down our arms and remember that men and women are in this together.
Don’t Call Me Out at Your Wedding for Being Single

Don’t Call Me Out at Your Wedding for Being Single

The church can model a more inclusive community, one that doesn’t divide over marital status.
Why Google and BuzzFeed Need the Church

Why Google and BuzzFeed Need the Church

When big corporations make big moral decisions, where is the church’s voice?
Timehop Helps Me See God’s Providence

Timehop Helps Me See God’s Providence

How a social media app reminds me of God’s faithfulness in my life.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

I’m a Woman Who Got Kicked Out of Women’s Bathrooms

Our zealous policing of gender norms can have unintended and hurtful consequences.

Twitter

  • Complementarian discourse doesn't have to be male-dominated discourse https://t.co/yYjp5ykooI
  • Where are the women in the complementarian Trinity debates? https://t.co/yYjp5ykooI
  • RT @PropelWomen: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can2019t live long enough to make them all yourself. 2013Eleanor Roosevelt
  • The church2019s moral position gets a lot more competition https://t.co/eTFFuEHjlc
  • RT @DailyKeller: 201cGod doesn't just love you unconditionally. He loves you counter-conditionally-in spite of your conditions.201d


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Finding a Job that Works for You and for God