“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to PROSPER you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.’” Jeremiah 29:11
This verse was written on a “Plus One” (anyone remember them?) poster in my room when I was in middle school. It’s one of the more well-known verses and quoted frequently. And it’s one I’ve always loved, but never felt the impact of. Three words: prosper, hope, future. They speak life into me. They remind me that God already knows my future. As much worry and anxiety I place on job hunting, the reality is that I need to release it. Because God has my plans perfectly carved out.
I asked Him one thing: “God, if this isn’t the job you have for me, please shut the door firmly in my face. In fact, please make me hate the position so it’s not a devastating blow if I don’t get it.”
I’m here to tell you that God still answers prayers. Because he did turn this position I thought would be wonderful into something I would never in my life want to do. (Sales. Door-to-door selling. While some people will flourish in that role, like the girl I shadowed did, I know it’s not the place for me.)
What Monday taught me was what I want in a job. Other than the normal things like being challenged, job security, and feeling part of a team, I finally have some ideas of what kind of job I want. Lately, I’ve just been telling people, “Oh, whatever! I just need some job experience so whoever’s willing to hire me!”
Actually, there’s more to what I want from a job than that. I know twenty-somethings have gotten a bad rap lately about switching jobs so much and never quite being satisfied with where they are, but I’m not going to apologize for wanting to feel fulfilled in my job. I worked my butt off for my Bachelor’s degree and I want to use it! I want to feel challenged in what I do, but I don’t want to be miserable waking up every day.
While my job at the preschool isn’t ideal and there are things that drive me crazy about it, I don’t dread going to work. Of course, I don’t jump out of bed, saying, “YAY, WORK!” but who does? For right now, it’s a job that I (usually) enjoy. I want the same out of my future career.
While the first job I get will probably not be the place I’m at even 10 years from now, it will be the starting point of my professional life. I want a job where I will use this degree I put so much work into and constantly be pushed to do more. I want a job where I use my writing skills on a daily basis, because a job where I don’t write isn’t the place for me. I want a job where my skills with social media, branding, and customer service are showcased and fine-tuned. I want a job where I feel comfortable sharing my opinion. I want a job where people work hard and play hard. I want a job where I feel proud of the work I do.
It seems like a lot to ask for, doesn’t it? And sure, maybe I can’t have everything I want. But I do know what my strengths are and I want to build on those strengths.
While I was pretty lucky to score a second-round interview on only my fourth job application, I know it may take a while for me to actually find a job. But I also know I have a lot to offer a company and I’m going to keep applying to those job that fit me until I get that magical call. Because it’ll happen. Jeremiah 29:11 makes it so.