Let me start with this great saying by Jim Rohn “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of”
Many lessons are there to be learnt from this quote but I want to stick to one which is ‘you cannot change the seasons’. Everything that has a beginning has an end, no matter how great or miserable your job might be, it will come to an end. It is either you put an end to your job yourself or it is ended for you.
While this is no news, what is amazing is that very few employees prepare to confront this staking reality. An old friend who had just been let go contacted me to help with job search. It was barely two months that he lost his plum job in a highly rated company, but the pressure was already mounting and he needed to go back to paid employment as soon as possible. This is one of the cases that make me shed tears when the mighty are fallen, especially when it is now impacting on the growing children.
Friends, it is certain that a time will come when the monthly flow of salary and benefits will cease, how prepared are you?
There is an interesting story of a crooked manager in the bible. Though he was called a crooked manager, surprisingly, his master praised him for what he did.
“Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself……. I want you to be smart in the same way-but for what is right-using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behaviour” Luke 16: 8-10 MSG
What did this crooked manager do that we are encouraged to be smart like him? His master notified him that he was fired and was asked to write his handover note. He realised that it will be difficult for him to fit in well for another good job and his status as a manager would not allow him beg people for money or menial jobs, he resolved to use the last opportunity he had to prepare a haven for himself when he eventually quits paid employment.
While he was truly crooked by short-changing his master, we are encouraged to learn from his plan of preparing for life after paid employment. Your job is an opportunity to prepare for your next challenge in life. If you are not using your present job rightly to build relationship with people that will be relevant in your life after job, to develop sellable skills, to acquire funds for investment to give you a soft landing when the season of employment is over, then you are making a grave mistake.
It is simply wise to begin to plan for your exit from the very first day you started the job. Not just in the sense of looking for another job, but using the job you have to build relationships, develop skills and acquire savings. Jesus spoke about His exit from His Master’s employment here on earth and the challenges that will follow, but He said to us that He has made provisions for us to survive when the time comes through the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit is Jesus exit strategy for us His friends so that the seeming gap his resignation from his employment on earth would create had been adequately covered.
If you think preparing for life after employment is a demonstration of lack of faith and total trust in God’s ability to supply all our needs, then consider this; when Jesus said He would not leave us comfortless, did he doubt God’s ability to take care of us when He is no longer on the earth? No, He simply made plans for us to access the provisions that we all have in God. We are not to justify lack of preparation by wrongly using scriptures such as “be careful for nothing…” or “do not worry about your life”
Dear Christian employees, if you are not preparing adequately for life after employment, start using your job to prepare for it now. The season may be over before you think.
God bless you.
This is article is part of the Christian Employee Series.