Searching for a new job can be rough. There are endless applications, online questionnaires and the job interviews that do little good but leave your palms sweaty with anxiety.
It's easy to lose heart and sight of what matters most. We become quick to shift our attention away from where it should be drawn and it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel will never come our way.
As hard as it may be, however, it is important to remain patient throughout the job search and rely on God's timing. Here are a few ideas and reminders to help you maintain your cool in the applicant pool:
1. This is temporary. You won't always be in the job searching process. So while it may not be the easiest thing to do, try to remember that this moment is temporary and time is precious. You won't get this time back and there are plenty of things to glean from it before it passes. So glean and "lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).
2. Know that you are actively waiting. Just like in the parable of the women awaiting the bridegroom, you want to know you have enough oil in your lamp to be ready when the time comes. Stay active in your search, as doing so only increases your chances of meeting the right opportunity at the right time. If you find yourself losing heart, follow the words of Jonathon Milligan, who said, "God is still at work in your life. He may seem silent for the moment, but when you get to the other side you will see what He has been up to."
3. There is a bigger plan. "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11). Consider that where you are right now is a work in progress and that God has something bigger planned for you. Be comforted by the fact that He is in control. The last time I was looking for a job, I thought for sure that I was going to get a job at Safer Brand's social media team. I had experience in their industry and nailed the interview, and was shocked that it didn't go through. However, if I had gotten that job I would never have met my wife, whom I did at my current job. At the time, it didn't seem like a disappointment was part of God's plan, but it sure was.
4. God never gives you more than you can handle. Job is one of the most trialed people in the Bible. Facing countless disappointments and losses, he comes to question his God. As he continues to converse with Him at a time when most would completely turn around, he finds out just what God has in store for him. God gave him even more than he could have ever imagined. When you feel like you are at your wit's end, remember the story of Job and what he went through and conquered. Just know that you, too, can conquer whatever cards you're dealt.
5. Pray. Talking to someone about what you're going through will help you understand and accept the process. Have that person pray with you for patience and understanding. Be persistent in your prayers to God and be confident that he will answer you. The Catholic Employment Network has put together a great article about what God may be saying to you in your job search process. All you have to do is be open to listening.
Trying to figure out the next step can be taxing and overwhelming, but remember these few ideas and reminders to help you navigate through the process. Remember: you are never navigating alone.
Scott Huntington is a writer for the Oxford University Press. He is also a middle school Sunday school teacher with a passion for reaching kids for the gospel.