Searching for a new position can be an exciting and scary endeavor! Perhaps the greatest anxiety comes from stepping out into the unknown: Will I find a role in a church I love? How long will this process last? Can I support myself or my family during this time? Why haven’t I heard anything back? Where will I land?…Or, perhaps on our more fearful days, will I land?
Like any endeavor, it’s important that we have the right resources to keep us powering forward and taking ground. Below are some encouraging learnings distilled from all the “I wish I had known…” comments we’ve heard from candidates we’ve gotten to work alongside.
Hopefully these helpful habits will keep you rooted in the truth that God is guiding your journey - as long, tiring or draining as it may feel.
Surrender the Process to God
Whether you're leaving a position you love or are in a spot you can't wait to escape - entrust your next steps to God. While you can and should be active in the search process, it's ultimately God who will open and close doors. The earlier you choose to surrender both the exciting moments and the discouraging moments to God, the deeper your reliance on Christ will be. God has the perfect role for you in mind. So be patient, be persistent, but ultimately strive to abandon the outcome to Jesus. He's a master at making crooked paths straight and will ensure you arrive at the exact spot you need to be!
Journal Your Journey
Job changes are big milestones in our lives. The process towards your next role is an important journey, so be sure to reflect, ponder and celebrate along the way. Keeping track of your job-change story will help you grow in self-awareness (an important skill for a job candidate!) and will help clarify your trajectory of forward progress. Not only will journaling your journey help keep you encouraged now, but it'll be a powerful thing to return to on those days in your new job when you wonder why you ever left your previous one!
Warm Up Your Network
For better or for worse, it is often true that job hunting is about who you know. While you may not be ready to announce to all your friends and co-workers that you're looking for a new job, it is good to get ahead of the curve and make sure your relationships and connections are alive and active.
A good daily habit is to reach out to two to three people each day who you haven't checked in with for a while. Shoot them a quick text or email to see how they're doing, let them know you're praying for them or share a word of encouragement. That way, if you need support down the road your "asks" are balanced by genuine relationship.
Schedule Dedicated Search Time
Everyone approaches job hunting differently. Some people find themselves diving right in and staying up late trying to eke out just one more application. Others are hesitant to start and would rather avoid the process as long as they possibly can. Which are you? Either way, what is important is to set healthy boundaries and self-expectations. Try to set weekly goals for yourself (update you resume, freshen up your LinkedIn, apply to X number of jobs, etc) and carve out dedicated time each day to make progress on those tasks. Establishing defined boundaries will help you maintain both forward progress and restful sanity!
Trust Your Gut
I don't know how many times our staff at ChurchJobs has been told by someone they just "felt" like a position was or wasn't right. We've seen people turn down great opportunities because they weren't at peace. And we've seen people passionately pursue and score a position that seemed like a tough door for them to get in. On both occasions people have based their actions on "gut feelings."
If something looks great but you don't have peace about it...take note. Or, if something excites you but looks like a stretch, consider giving it your best go. A passionate candidate can compensate for a lot! Either way, be sure to stay dialed into your intuition and ultimately the voice of the Holy Spirit who speaks truthful wisdom into our hearts.