I graduated from university in early December, went home to celebrate the holidays with my family in Denver, and came back to New Mexico shortly after ringing in the New Year in Arizona. My job as a student employee ended with my graduation date, and I was in conversations with my boss about hopefully being hired full time. This period of waiting between graduation and a new job left me with an extended time of unemployment.
That extended time turned into 6 weeks of unemployment, along with not knowing when I will start working again.
Granted, 6 weeks is not a long time in the big picture. But for someone who has been working consistently since high school, six weeks of not working (and not being on vacation) is a very, very long time. Fortunately, I learned a lot:
Obviously. I learned more than just being patient and waiting to get a call back after submitting an application though. Waiting for a job meant being patient with God's plan, instead of trying to rush my own. In my panicky moments I would jump on Craigslist, scroll through open positions, and consider calling those places to secure something for myself. It was in one of these moments I actually interviewed for and was offered a position at a restaurant, only to realize that was not part of the plan. I was trying to be patient on my terms, instead of fully trusting that God's timing is perfect, if I would just wait.
On a morning when I received more bad news about a position I had been waiting for (and a position I had truly believed God would make possible for me) I decided it was time to go back to a retail store I had worked at over the summer. Deep down I knew that although I wanted the other position more, it wasn't going to happen - at least not anytime soon. As I was debating whether or not to walk into the retail store to ask if they were hiring, I ran into my old manager. He was gracious enough to rehire me, and just like that I felt secure again. But more than that, I knew that this was what I had to be patient for. This timing was something I could never have imagine or orchestrated on my own.
Patience is more than waiting. Patience is also trusting.
Your Friends Are Part Of Your Network.
People talk a lot about networking and how vital it is. What I've learned is that networking is scary, intimidating, and feels slightly fake (maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I just don't like it). In fact, most of my opportunities have not come from my "network" of professionals, but from my friends. Maintaining friendships with people, genuinely caring about them when I don't need anything from them, and investing in their lives has created a stronger network than any professional relationship I have known. Because while I was searching for a second job, a sweet friend who I met in class a year ago invited me to a group interview at her retail store. I was overjoyed, and I was grateful.
I was not friends with her because I hoped one day she could get me a job. I was her friend, and because of that when her store was hiring she thought of me and invited me to interview.
This isn't to suggest that professional networks are a waste of time. I've also gotten jobs from my LinkedIn profile and know how valuable professional connections are. It wasn't until I was frantically searching for a job that I realized how much more valuable friendships are in this sphere as well.
God is GOOD.
He orchestrated the timing of me running into a manager the same morning I realized that my initial plans had fallen through.
He orchestrated a class shared by my friend and I so that we could become friends and so I could now interview, a year later, for a second job that I very much need.
He orchestrated my finances so that I had enough, and will have enough until I receive a paycheck.
He had already arranged everything for me, before I knew I would be unemployed indefinitely, so that the period of waiting wasn't as daunting and terrifying as it should have been.
He has been taking care of me this whole time, because He is so very good.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.