Throughout college and even in the years before, it was always hammered into my mind that it was essential to find a solid job in the field I wanted in the dream position I wanted right out of college. Not having a career-oriented job was unacceptable. Not having a job at all was unthinkable. In a society where one’s success or worth is often measured by the size of our paycheck or how quickly we are able to attain a reputable career position, it’s no wonder that so many people have tunnel vision to getting a job the second you have your diploma. I was definitely no different. While it is by no means a bad thing to have a great job as a college graduate, God has shown me that all is not lost if I am unemployed by taking me on a vastly different career journey than I originally planned.
When I got my first job a week out of college, I felt like I was set. It was in the field I [thought] I wanted to be in, in a higher position than I had expected, and I was making enough to keep up my California lifestyle. As someone who has always been really involved and busy with work, there was such a fear of the unknown future when I became unemployed and even more fear that came from realizing that I wanted to be in a different field. Great embarrassment and shame from telling people I wasn’t working but God used all those things to give me a more joyful unemployment by teaching me to trust in Him.
There are obvious benefits to being unemployed.
- I don’t need to work. Enough said.
- I can catch up on all that sleep I missed in college. And then some!
- There’s no need to fight for machines at the gym when everyone else is at work!
- Being able to meet up with other people with off schedules is way easier, especially students, family, or church families.
- I can actually go outside to enjoy the beautiful SoCal weather instead of being bundled up in an office with the AC blasting.
But even greater than those, God has revealed to me that this time of unemployment is beneficial and even necessary for me during this period of my life for a purpose. Over the last few months, God has slowly taught me these joys in unemployment, too.
- To find contentment in this season of life instead of always looking to be somewhere else. It’s really easy to wish I was working, wish I had a full-time job, wish I was anything other than unemployed but that brings so much frustration and sadness! Instead, I’ve been trying to make the best out of this season God has given me and it’s showing me how important it is to find contentment not just in unemployment, but in all things! The grass is plenty green right where I am 🙂
- There is no better time to be unemployed than right NOW. It feels like the world is coming to an end and I’m never going to make it but honestly, I’m young, I don’t have any real financial obligations, I don’t have to worry about taking care of anyone other than myself, and I’m not set in one particular career path. There are clear financial concerns that arise from being unemployed but at this point in my life, they are no where near as serious as what they could be later on. If there’s ever a good time to explore, adventure, and be jobless, I’m glad and thankful it’s now!
- Being unemployed gave me so much time to spend with Matthew before he left. Sounds so simple but it was really such a blessing to be able to do spend time with Matthew as he prepared for his training and to go our road trip together without having to worry about taking time off or not being able to work. It was difficult enough getting ready for him to leave for the military and although I’m sure we would’ve made it work with work, I am beyond thankful for having precious time to spend with him without it getting in the way.
- Having the freedom to spend my time as I wish has revealed to me where my heart is in regards to my time with the Lord. When I was working or even busy in school, I always felt crunched for quality time in the Word or in prayer and thought that it I “just had more time”. Well now that I have all the time in the world, it is becoming more and more clear where my priorities are based on where I spend my time.
- Learning to trust in the Lord is much more difficult but much more freeing than I imagined. How easy it is to say that I trust God completely but actually trusting him when I have no clue what my plans are is a whole ‘nother story. It’s been a painfully slow process but learning how to entrust the Lord with everything my future holds has been so sanctifying and has made clear to me that the Lord’s plans are indeed good.
Would I very much like to find a job right now? Absolutely. Am I still eagerly seeking for job opportunities? For sure! Because as the Word says, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4 But I rest assured knowing that God has a sovereign and good plan for me in all things, even if it’s difficult for me to see or understand. Being unemployed at any time is a hardship and is not meant to be easy, but I believe that the way we respond to this season that God may give us shows where our peace and our worth comes from. What a joy and a comfort to know that my identity and worth is not found in the place that I work or the success of my career, but that it is found in Christ alone!
Back to the job hunt 🙂