“Everyone has a job, all your friends are working, everybody is employed.” The voices echoed in my head. I was 18 years old and unemployed, looking for my very first job. The fear of stepping out into an entirely new environment alone scared me, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready.
I didn’t want to jump into a random job just because of societal pressure or just because I felt accountable to others. Yet the pressure I was facing was intense. I eventually succumbed to it, and began sending in emails to various companies to enquire.
I prayed that if God had a path for me to take, He would open the doors of opportunities to me because I did not have a direction in mind. But Romans 8:5 tugged at my heart: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
Romans 8:8 further emphasises that “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” I knew that I was falling into the pit of fear-based, not faith-based decisions – but I was unsure of how to pull myself out of it.
By God’s grace, doors for employment opportunities remained close. I was so uncertain about so many things and I was extremely tired of trying to be in control; I wanted to learn to submit wholeheartedly to Him.
So I decided to take a break from job hunting and decided to focus on my walk with Him, allowing Him to guide my every step of the way. After a while, I no longer harboured thoughts of sourcing for a job on my own strength.
Four months later, I was having a conversation with a really treasured friend of mine, and she casually asked me if I was interested in helping out in an F&B chain. As I was always open to service line jobs and had a passion for food, I agreed.
When I began starting work, I enjoyed my job very much. I loved seeing food being cooked, and I took great interest in the small preparations that I was assigned. But not everything was smooth sailing, and problems began arising.
With no prior job experience, I often felt redundant and incompetent, lacking confidence to deal with on-job challenges, albeit how small they were. I really wanted to leave my job.
It was not until I chanced upon a video that changed my perspective on things.
I started to see that as an imperfect, fallen human being, was never going to achieve the desired perfection that I had idealised in my mind for so long. I was also reminded of the Parable of the Lost Sheep and how the shepherd left the 99 for the one lost sheep – a reflection of how much Jesus cares for us.
I also began to see myself not with the flaws I had, but as a child of God, one saved by His mercy and grace.
I knew that as a Christian, I wanted to model Christ even in my workplace. And leaving just because of small problems definitely wasn’t going to be the solution. Instead, it reflected irresponsibility. I felt that glorifying God in my work included being consistent, responsible and completing my job till the best of my ability.
Furthermore, this was my first job. I did not want to leave with the mentality that I could continue escaping from situations in the future. I didn’t want to give myself that chance to start this mistake, and go down the path of little perseverance.
I eventually made the decision to apologise for whatever problems arose, and continued my work with renewed strength and vigour.
Transitioning into work is often scary, especially when it is your first job. The environment is entirely raw, new and unfamiliar. But through this process, I thank God for constantly keeping me on track, for giving me the strength to work past each new day, and teaching me important lessons as I continue to be moulded in His image each day.