27 February 2009

Self-Praise Is No Recommendation - part two

Nobody likes job-hunting. One job agency sent me an email to tell me this recently. We do it because we are motivated to do it. We want to achieve our full potential - although for some this may be expressed in terms of maximised salary & benefits rather than in terms of maximised skills. Updating the CV is a bit of a chore, but it's so necessary as it represents your 'shop window' - how you represent yourself to the world.

Job hunting is also a pain for employers, who are often inundated with CVs which they then have to sift through. With the job market as it is, employers are turning to a variety of methods to assist them in their final choice of the right candidate. These range from practical tests of computer skills to interviewing panels. Some firms even use Psychometric Testing to give them a further insight into the kinds of people that want to work for them.

Not everyone is looking for another job, of course. However, even those who are remaining with their current employer may be dissatisfied. The TUC announced on Friday that millions of British workers are putting in over seven extra hours of unpaid overtime every week, because they are concerned about losing their jobs.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, at this stage in my life and following what I experienced at DFL I've had to review my own CV. I am staggered to realise what a variety of diverse skills I have picked up over a series of jobs, both paid and voluntary, over a twenty-five year period. Even within my own Salvation Army Corps I've had about half a dozen different roles. I say this, dear reader, not because I want to pat myself on the back, not for 'self-praise'. I'm simply looking back in order to better see where I'm headed - I want to see where my next challenge might be.
I gave up the rat race myself in the mid-Nineties, coming to the conclusion that working just to maximise my own salary was foolish. Probably the most fulfilling job I have ever had was the one that earned me the least money. I'd probably still be working there today if it wasn't for the fact that I was made redundant.
It's clear to me now that God has something else for me to do - I hope this year will see this made clear to me. So where is the path headed? Clearly not for fame and fortune. And not for self-praise and congratulation, either. What I would like (God willing) is summed up by the song, "I want to serve the purpose of God in my Generation." (Mark Altrogge)

Job satisfaction? Well, we all need some sort of assurance in our lives. Do you need constant reassurance from others that you are doing things well, or are you trapped in a world where you never get any praise? Personally, I am far happier working behind the scenes than 'in the limelight'. Jesus himself points out that we should be seeking praise from God not from men (John 5:31-32). And so I'm seeking God's way, and looking for Him to make clear to me my path.

"What is on Your heart?
Tell me what to do
Let me know Your will
And I will follow You"

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