Life Lessons on #Career
“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.”
Proverbs 3:16 [MSG]
As a little girl, I always desired to lead. It’s like I just knew that I could and even believed that I deserved to. In fact, the first #career choice I blurted out when asked “what do you plan on being when you grow up?”, was a desire to go down in history as THE first female AND black president of these United States! Pretty impressive that an immigrant under age 10 had enough faith and guts to take the White House. Fast forward 10+ years and my journey to #career has taken more twists and turns, with highs and lows that would make a board game of Candy Land seem like cake!
There are two sides to my #career journey. On both accounts the road got dark, tiring and discouraging. And yet I can say God has been faithful and not one moment has been wasted [Romans 8:28]. By age 17 (almost 18) I knew I was heading to the states to pursue my education and future career. Any chance of me heading back to England to live was slim to none because I didn’t see blacks succeeding in my world; not like how I thought they were in North America. (Turns out we need a good shake and a kick all over the world but that’s for another blog post).
With bags packed and excitement shot past a million on my Richter scale, I was Florida bound to become a successful influencer / personality in the media. Who wouldn’t love a cute, slim Brit with an amazing accent? Every vacation it never failed that somebody was bedazzled by the UK charm, so I figured, why not use it to make myself an easy living???
And so my journey to #career kicked off in July 2005 . . .
My short and sweet:
- Balancing full-time work and full-time studies
- Changing jobs while still in full-time studies
- Taking a break just to work
- Busy internship + fast-tracking Grad School
- Internship over, Job hopping and still on the fast-track
- Getting played in friendship for a profitable payroll (not mine)
- Degreed, unemployed & searching, but exercising my gifts while waiting
- Stumbling upon a new venture that looked like dirt but had gold underneath
It can be the most crazy roller coaster ride in life when you believe you’ve done all the stuff you’re supposed to do in order to succeed, only to then feel like every waking day after that is a fight! I almost wondered if God had played me. I ate the ‘stuff’ that most people are fed from elementary days right through to college.
“You can be what you want, achievement is up to you, aspire, write what makes you great . .”
And yet after a huge chunk of my life had been dedicated to nail biting exams, sleepless nights of portfolio prep, nauseating class presentations, and that teacher who just makes everything from breakfast and lunch drop to the pit of your belly, I WAS STILL STRUGGLING TO MAKE MY CAREER HAPPEN!
For extra kicks let’s also throw in family lookin’ at me crazy, and others wondering if I missed a step. God and I had to do some serious wrap time! Thankfully though He gave me His peace and an opportunity for my perception to grasp the master plan; this is the focus of today’s blog and what I desire to share. . .
5 Points To Keep In Mind On Your
#Career Journey . . .
1. Traditional isn’t the only route
- It doesn’t have to be what ‘they’ would do. What results are YOU looking for? If you’ve factored the odds, understand the process, and God gave you the green light then all that’s left to do is work the journey.
- Traditional doesn’t work for certain people, possibly because they were built for what’s extraordinary; a road that few are equipped to handle. If the journey is a-typical, and surmounting great time and care to produce, imagine the size of the blessing that is also to come on the other side?
- Whatever route you take process is key! Some people will judge you based on their time frame of when you should be at the finish line, forgetting about the steps you must trod. When they look at you and feel you’re not succeeding, it doesn’t mean you aren’t, they just forgot your process. It’s not even necessarily that they forgot, they just don’t know. And you can’t expect for them to know because they’re not you. So if people choose not to celebrate your place in progress, it’s simply because they don’t understand and / or cannot see the process.
2. Connect & Be a Connector
- Having open, free course conversations with those who work around you allows for moments of discovery and to be discovered.
- Recommend others’ services often. Not only is it kind but eventually someone is going to return the favor. Great work speaks for itself but patronizing points to a noble character which speaks volumes in today’s world.
- It’s a small world for networking, but it’s a BIG world for opportunities. SO DON’T GET STUCK! Just because you’re unsuccessful in one area doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have something for you somewhere else. In fact, experiencing failure in one area could be God’s indication that He has something that’s better suited. Always remain open to relocating, shifting and pursuing other resources as God leads you.
3. Know when to lead & when to follow
- Have a learner’s mentality. You are a student first before you can lead. There is something to learn from everyone; whether they’re the janitor, the CEO, or that co-worker who makes your eye start to twitch. Ditch pride for the prize.
- Keep your eyes and ears open at all costs because you never know when life will drop an answer, opportunity, idea or connection in your lap. When I say ‘life’ of course I’m referring to the giver of all good gifts [James 1:17,18].
- Build trust with those who are experts in both postures. One is not above the other because both work off of each other and need each other to be great. No CEO can acquire wealth alone and no MVP shines on their own. You prosper in your posture when you understand the requirements to succeed.
4. Decipher between advice & opinion;
keep the two separate
- Bad advice is not advice at all. You just gave me your opinion that carries no weight for my destiny. Advice is something I need to follow that’s going to help me.
- Keep keen discernment when advice and opinions are being thrown at you because some people have your agenda wrapped up in their own.
5. You aren’t their label
- Don’t allow others failures to be projected onto you and to hinder you. Many who should be doing what you’re doing but aren’t carry bitterness / jealousy. Especially if they’ve tried and failed at what you are now conquering. Don’t feel bad! Press on, continue and win anyway!
- Pure motives will get you good results. As a matter of fact, GOD motives will get you GREAT results! Don’t set your agenda on what worked for other people, or what others think will work best for you. If God gave you a career path, if God gave you a purpose, then stick to what God told you and let everything else be secondary.
In Closing . . .
In my own pursuit of doing what lines up with what God has said, I had to learn and am still learning to make these points my basis for progression and achievement. I can’t tell you how many times I fell out with family and/or disagreed with council, because what they were speaking and what God had said to me were completely opposite. Sometimes you just have to be okay with looking like the dummy until your process is over and everyone gets to see what God was up to all along.
Again, it’s not their job to understand the process, it’s your job to be obedient, walk through the doors God opens and work what He told you to do until what He said happens. BIG emphasis here that it MUST be what GOD said and not just what you’re hoping for. His confirmation is the big ticket. (Special thanks to Dr. Juanita Bynum @3withme talks and Tuesday night study of ‘The Manifestation Process’ by Stephanie Ike for this nugget. They both have given me life!).
It’s ok to take risks if God says so and believe in a good career that leads to an even greater destiny. When you have His name on your forehead you’ll find that the two become closely connected, OR destiny will transform the path of your #career. Go by faith and see it through to the end!
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” Isa 30:21 NKJV
Sneak Peek for next week 🙂
My Reflections on #Connections