Tag Archives: Jobs

Course Correction – A New Beginning

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A box I packed on the day God set me on a new course. I just love the prophetic message of the sign I packed!

A box I packed on the day God set me on a new course. I just love the prophetic message of the sign I packed (Always Have Faith)!

 

I like to know where I’m going. If it’s a long trip to somewhere new, I still print out the directions so I can see all the different turns I’ll need to take along the way. It gives me a sense of security, as if I have more control over the situation.

As much as we would like Him to, God doesn’t give us a turn-by-turn listing of all the major events and crossroads we’ll encounter in our lives, nor does He tell us in advance which way we’ll need to go when we get there. Instead, He operates more like the map app I have on my phone, telling me what to do right before I need to do it. (“Turn right in 800 yards,” says the calm British voice. “Make a u-turn,” says the now-frustrated British voice when I miss my turn.)

Last month, God surprised me when He set a new course for my life. It seemed like I had been dropped out of an airplane unexpectedly, only to realize that I had been wearing a parachute the whole time. Or perhaps it was more like I had to brake sharply in the middle of the interstate during rush hour, only to drive over the median to head in the opposite direction. It was definitely something like that.

 

Slamming the Brakes

I graduated with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance in 2003. Although I’ve held several positions since then, I thought I had finally settled on my true career path two years ago when I landed a great job as an enterprise risk analyst with an insurance company. My boss was fantastic, the benefits were good, and life was great.

But then things changed at work, and it wasn’t so great anymore. I prayed about it and figured God would either change the situation or change my heart about it; at least, that’s what He had done in the past. Instead, God had something else in mind.

It all culminated one afternoon when I was cleaning out my office so I could move to another location. I had been praying all day for God’s wisdom and guidance, and I felt His Spirit with me. As I finished wiping the white board, I heard Him clearly say, “It’s a clean slate, isn’t it?” Instantly, I knew that He was calling me away from my job, my paycheck, my benefits, and my security, and He was calling me toward…something unknown. All I could say in return to God’s question was, “Yes. Yes, it is a clean slate.” That’s how I acknowledged what God already knew—that I would follow Him to somewhere new.

 

Turning Around

I spoke with my husband, Robby, and he supported a change, even though we didn’t quite know what that would entail. (Thank God for a husband who listens to the Lord and is willing to follow Him!) It wasn’t long before I put out a few feelers: “Do you know anyone hiring? I’m looking for a new job.” I even put my resume online, but nothing felt “right.”

Within a couple days, I heard God clearly tell me to reach out to Burke, someone I had served with on the board of my Christian College. Throughout the day, God strongly urged me to reach out to Burke so, as soon as I could get my resume together, I emailed it to him. I didn’t know if he had any openings in his small business, but I explained that God led me to reach out to him.

Burke replied within only a few minutes. He said he was in the process of expanding his promotions business and that his plan involved the opening of a café and Christian gift store. He had already decided to reach out to me to see if I wanted to be a part of his new venture. We were so amazed that God had put us together for His purpose, we began to move forward unquestioningly!

 

On a New Course!

That day in my office, God (my spiritual GPS) told me to “Stop,” so I quit my risk analyst job at the end of August. God then told me to “Take the next right,” and I started working with Burke in his business.

This has been an amazing experience, and I’ve truly enjoyed my new position. I’ll be sure to share more with you in an upcoming blog. However, the point here is that I didn’t know how these turns would work out; I just had to step out on faith. That’s how God wants us to live our lives—in complete surrender to Him. If we knew what our future holds, we wouldn’t have that same faith; we’d just have knowledge, which could easily become an idol.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17 NAS)  

I don’t know when God will direct me to take a sharp turn again, or even how far away I am from my ultimate destination. But I trust that God can see the full journey ahead of me, and He’ll get me where I need to be if I just follow His guidance each step of the way.

 

Have You Taken a Turn?

Every day, I hear more stories of God calling people to new adventures. Do you have a story? Please share it with us in a comment to encourage other readers in the faith.

What to Wear to an Interview

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What to Wear to an Interview


It sounds corny, but “dressing for success” really works! I actually nailed a good job once solely because I dressed up. I had on a nice pant suit when I applied in person at a department store. One of the managers saw me turn in my application and raced after me to the elevator. She began to tell me how her sales area paid commission, and I realized she was pitching to me! She asked my name, went back and pulled my resume from the pile (which they’re not supposed to do), and then offered me the position. Later, she told me she wanted me on her team because I looked like a go-getter. I eventually turned that job into a secretary position for the same store, which I did (and loved!) for over a year.

Last week, we looked at how important interviews are personally and professionally. This week, we’re going to start with the obvious – what to wear on a job interview.

First, let me say that it doesn’t matter what the actual dress code is for the job you are applying for. Your main goal is to put your best foot forward. You’re essentially selling yourself, so make it good, whether the job is at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.


The basics for GUYS:
A simple dark suit, button-down shirt, and a simple coordinating tie (no funny stuff!). The shoe color should match the belt. No matter how cool it is, do NOT wear Adidas shoes with your suit. I shouldn’t have to say this, but jeans are utterly unacceptable.

The basics for GALS:
A simple dark suit is a must, whether it’s a pant suit or a skirt suit with a blazer. Either a button-down shirt or a simple blouse is fine, but it shouldn’t be distracting or low-cut. If you wear a skirt, be sure to wear pantyhose and a slip (yes, seriously!). Shoes should be simple and closed-toed, not too high or too flashy. Jewelry is fine, whatever goes with the outfit.

Hair should be well-kept. That doesn’t mean it needs to be pulled back, but that wind-swept beach look isn’t going to cut it. Wear a little makeup to show you care, but don’t try to look like you work at the MAC counter (unless you’re applying for the MAC counter).

Yes, you want to be distinctive, so a pop of color or a unique necklace is fine. However, the key here is to keep it simple. You want the spotlight on you – your smile, your energy, your confidence.

Next week, I’ll share a funny list of things NOT to wear to an interview (or to work in general, for that matter).

After being interviewed all day at a writers conference, I enjoyed spending time with new friends at a banquet. This is author Kristen Hogrefe who taught one of the classes.

After being interviewed all day at a writers conference, I enjoyed spending time with new friends at a banquet. This is author Kristen Hogrefe who taught one of the classes.

Intro To Interviews

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I don’t know about you, but there’s rarely a week that goes by that I don’t learn something new that I wish I had learned in high school. I won’t go into the state of our public education system, but I’m going to assume you feel the same way.

Instead of bemoaning the state of affairs, though, I’ve decided to do something about it. I have a Masters degree, a professional designation, and over a decade working in the business / insurance industry, and I’m going to use all of it to drop some knowledge on you.

One of the most important things for anyone to learn is how to ace……the dreaded interview. I always figured that these were so few and far between that I could basically cram for it like a history test, get the awesome job, and be done with it already. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I’ve put some thought into this, and I’ve realized that most memorable moments in life involve an interview of one kind or another. For example:

· When you apply for college, especially for Ivy League schools, you’ll need to write a paper and sell yourself, telling them why they need you at their school. If you pledge a Greek house (fraternity or sorority), they’ll put you through a next-level kind of interview process.

· Of course, when you apply for a job, you’ll need to interview. However, after you get the job, you’ll eventually want to get more out of it, like a better position or more pay. To get that, you’ll need to take on more responsibility. You’ll need to ask for things, such as permission to attend an out-of-state conference or to take continuing education courses, and you’ll have to explain why they should spend more money on you.

· Your actual job may involve interviewing people – mine does! I regularly ask directors and VPs about their projects and initiatives and look for risks that could keep them from achieving their goals.

· As an adult, you end up having to interview people you want to hire, like contractors, lawn care workers, even hair stylists and doctors.

· Even first dates are like interviews – but hopefully more fun! (If all goes well, you’ll have the future-mother-in-law interview. Good luck with that one.)

You’ll also continue to be interviewed by other people. A couple weeks ago, I sat down with six different agents, editors, and authors, pitching my book ideas in 15-minute time blocks. Now, those are straight-up interviews!

To me, an interview is an opportunity to advance yourself, whether personally or professionally. Since it’s that important, and we can’t avoid it anyway, we should embrace it and conquer it! In the next couple blogs, we’ll focus on job interviews and look at how you can put your best foot forward to get that job!

After being interviewed all day by editors and agents, I got to meet journalist and best-selling author Todd Starnes. Glad I dressed nice!

After being interviewed all day by editors and agents, I got to meet journalist and best-selling author Todd Starnes. Glad I dressed nice!