Back to Work

This Monday will be my first day at my new job. It will have been 8 months since I last worked in a professional environment.  Being unemployed has taught me a few lessons, which I hope to capture in this post.

Job security is an illusion. Nobody is indispensable and most things are outside of your control. Everybody should be looking and preparing for their next job. This could be training, getting certifications, or going back to school. Looking for your next job will show you what is out there and how you need prepare. You may not need a certain certification for your current job, but that does not mean you will not need it to get our next job.

Finding work is difficult. Even though you might be highly skilled, that does not mean the people looking for you are highly skilled. There are a lot of jobs out there, but most people are looking for someone who has already done the job. It was amazing to me that so many people cared more about specific skills that can be learned, then talent that can't be taught.

Almost every conversation that you have with someone involves work. I dreaded conversations with new people, because inevitably I would have to tell them that I was unemployed. It seems like everybody is judging you because you don't have a job. They often give you suggestions on what they would do to find a job, not realizing that every industry is different. Most people are well meaning but it is easy to feel judged when you are not that happy about not having a job either.

Here are a couple practical things I learned in no particular order: (1) Customize your resume to match each job posting. It does not have to be completely different each time, but you may want to reword certain parts to highlight the similarities with each posting. Strategically place bullet points and add new ones that are relevant to the position. (2) The key is to get into the interview. (3)Talk to head hunters and let them know your skill set, they are helpful in highlighting skills that your resume can't communicate to employers. (4) Develop a strategic plan that changes tactics if you are not successful. It is important to keep moving and be willing to change your goals.

We are often controlled by money, which means we are controlled by our work. Don't let money be your boss, be the boss of your money. The Bible tells us that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim. 6:10)." The most important thing I learned is the purpose of work is not to make money, but to reach out to the people around you. Monday will be the first day I meet the people I am supposed to reach out to.


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