If you are in a job search right now, either actively or passively, you might find the process makes you anxious – very anxious, in fact. It doesn’t matter whether you are searching for the next step in your career, are unhappy where you are, or you are unemployed. The anxiety in the job search comes with the uncertainty in the process. When we don’t know, we tend to worry or fret about it.
We worry about things like, Is my resume good enough? Will this job be a good fit for me? Is this the right career move? Will I make new friends? Once you’ve interviewed, you worry about things like whether you answered the questions they asked well enough or would this person be a good person to work for. It’s all unknown to us.
If God sent you a calendar invitation for your first day at your next job, you’d relax. In fact, if you interviewed knowing you were going to get the job, you would be very confident, without worry. But that’s not how God operates. He doesn’t reveal his plans for us ahead of time. He wants us to trust him as He slowly guides us step by step. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I was recently in Phoenix for a conference. Early one morning, I was getting an Uber ride from a man named John. Somehow, our conversation ended up about being on the topic of employment transitions. John said he’d helped many people in their job search. He talked about their anxiety and then said something that’s important for all of us: He told me he reminds people that, “no one can take the blessings God has for you.” He’s right.
If “the” job is the one God has prepared for you, no one else can take it. In scripture we’re told “…This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it” (Revelation 3:7).
It’s also true that even if we think it’s the perfect job, if it isn’t in God’s plan for us, it won’t happen. It doesn’t mean you made a mistake somewhere in the process. You need to accept that if you didn’t get it, it might not be the right place for you to flourish, you are needed where you are a little longer, or there are problems with that job that you can’t see today. Our God is all-knowing, and He wants the best for you.
You may be asking, What about humans, can’t they mess up God’s plan for us? Sure, we’re human on this earth and God gave us free will. Sometimes what humans do isn’t what God wants. But remember, even when that happens, God can fix anything if He chooses. If you think someone messed up the perfect job for you, and it’s true that they did, just sit back and wait to see how God works: There will be an even more amazing opportunity for you.
As you go through the job search process, do your best to relax and know that no one, not even ourselves, can stop God’s wonderful plans for us. Do your best to enjoy the process.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.