Dear 2020 graduate, I know the job hunt is hard
Wee Zicong // June 29, 2020, 3:43 pm
Finals are over, but perhaps for the first time ever, a sense of dread rather than anticipation overtakes you. You’ve yet to secure a job and you may even be laden with outstanding school fees.
To make matters worse, there isn’t a chance for you to go on a grad trip either.
Many of your peers had received offers as early as the year before when they did their summer internship, and you are left to wonder if you should have worked harder to secure a job sooner.
The job hunt feels like an uphill battle and the pressure only continues to mount as you plough through LinkedIn or JobStreet for new openings each day.
And as much as you tell yourself to trust that God is in control, you find the same questions going through your mind over and again.
- Should I settle for a less than ideal job?
- How much should I lower my expectations?
- Am I not good enough as compared to my peers?
- Why can’t I seem to secure an offer?
You’ve heard it all. Trust God. Surrender it all to Him. You’ve done that and more, but still, you struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Take heart. For God is working all things for your good (Romans 8:28) even when you don’t see it.
Let me start off by saying that your worth is not determined by your job.
It is not determined by your title, the size of your paycheck, the company you work for and it certainly isn’t determined by your employment status.
My first job was in a prestigious global bank, which I left after a year or so to go to Bible School. Thereafter, I found myself unemployed and I was not prepared for how difficult it was to land a job.
Yet the thing I struggled with most was my sense of self-worth. It was then that I realised how much I had tied my identity to my resume!
The most important thing is, what does God think of me?
I took a long time to learn the lesson and re-establish my identity in Christ, but not without first having to lay it all down – my ego, my ambitions and the opinions of man. I realised that what matters isn’t what others or even what we think or expect of ourselves.
The most important thing is, what does God think of me?
Do I trust in Him even when I can’t see how things are going to work out? Am I able to continue to praise Him even when I’m in the middle of a storm? Is my life a testimony before my non-believing friends who are in the same situation as me?
These are the things that truly matter!
So take this opportunity to ground yourself in Christ, by meditating on Scripture and seeking His face! As a former career consultant, I can assure you that our career achievements will not matter in a few years’ time.
But God will remember how you responded when things weren’t going your way!
The previous graduating batches may thank God for providing them a job (as you shall in time to come). But they do not have the opportunity to see Him come through for them in the coronavirus pandemic like you have.
Most of them did not have the opportunity to please God by exercising the measure of faith that you have had to (Hebrews 11:6) and neither did they have the opportunity to gain the treasures of darkness that are available to you in this time!
It is when the conventional way of sending out resumes isn’t working for us that we learn to be resourceful.
It is when we’ve met with one closed door after another that we develop resilience. And it is when our best efforts have seemingly failed us that we grow in our reliance on God.
These things go a long way and they will serve you far better than simply having a job!
So as you brave the uncertainties of this season, may I encourage with three things you could do.
3 DON’TS IN A DIFFICULT TIME
1. Don’t become self-absorbed
In times of difficulty, we tend to become self-focused and put our needs before the needs of others.
But we must make it our priority to continue blessing others! It can be as simple as dropping a text or praying for someone who is in the same situation as you. It can even be helping a friend with their interview preparation.
As we do do so, not only will our focus be taken off ourselves, our spirits will also be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).
2. Don’t lean on your own understanding
“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)
God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
So, in a sense, there’s no need to have it all figured out. Our job is to trust in Him with all our hearts, and He will make our paths straight!
Think on what it means to put His Kingdom and His righteousness first in this season.
The promise is that God will add to you everything that you need (Matthew 6:33)!
3. Don’t let your hands be idle
There are many things you can do with the time that you have on your hands. Here are just a few examples.
- Taking up a social cause
- Picking up a new skill
- Taking on part-time jobs
- Freelance assignments
You never know if an opportunity might arise through one of these things. And in any case, these activities can be included in your resume and cover letter as well!
It’s not your fault that the job market is bad at the point of your graduation, but what you do about it is what recruiters and hiring managers want to know!
God has ordained 2020 to be your graduating year. He alone can provide the grace that you need to navigate the challenges that are ahead of you – ask Him for that grace.
Do you dare trust that He will come through for you even when it seems that the odds are stacked against you?
Consider the words of God in Joel 2:25-27: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are satisfied, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.”
God can restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten and more. This pandemic will not go on forever, and in time to come, you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied.
So be encouraged. Don’t give up, for the door will soon be opened to you!
THINK + TALK
- What’s your dream job? Is that career path viable in the present climate?
- What might God be showing you in this season?
- Know someone who’s graduating or looking for a job? Encourage and bless them this week.