I am officially 2 months into my new position as the Pastor to Youth and Children at the Bethany Baptist Church of Newark, NJ, and 6 months post job search. I have had some recent conversations about transitions and accepting new jobs and I remembered how I wrote a post for "NoCompromise Magazine" back in April of this year. Please see that submission below. I pray that it helps you on your journey.
After months of searching, researching and countless interviews, you finally land a job offer. Praise God. And then, as life would have it, you were offered several job opportunities. It seems as if you are living in the overflow of an answered prayer with having more than one option, but which job to choose? Choosing only one job offer is a daunting task that can become overwhelming. However, there are practical things that you can do to help make your decision.
To start, make a chart with each job listed in a column on its own. You will want to visually see every detail in order to find the right job for you. Then fill in the details for each job offer according to the five categories that you will want to consider when choosing a single job offer.
1. Job Content
Look over your offers and add the roles and responsibilities that are listed in the job description into your chart. Take note on how each job is similar in terms of required skill set and responsibilities. You will also see how they differ. When choosing a job offer, you need to have a full understanding of each job, including the fine print line that says, “And other duties as assigned.” Are you willing to commit to those other duties as assigned before you even know what they are? Clearly, your employer believes that you are capable of handling these things.
Let us keep it real. We like money. While money is not everything, it is important. But not important enough to be the sole deciding factor. In your list, you will want to see each of the salaries and consider your expenses. Will this job support all of your expenses, such as your student loans, car note, the rent and unlimited data plans, just to name a few? Or if you have a family to support, you need to consider expenses such as day care and family vacations.
3. Benefit Package
In addition to the salary, what are the benefits? Does it come with health insurance? Life insurance? A retirement package? Paid vacation, leave, sick days, personal time? As “adulting” millennials, these are all things to consider. Poor benefit packages could cost you in the long run. It is wiser to choose a job with better benefits and less pay over a job offer with ideal pay and horrible employee benefits.
4. Work Hours/ Schedule
Hours matter. Will you be working full time or part-time? Weekdays only or some weekends? Are there nights that will be required? If you have a family, you will want to evaluate which job will allow you to spend time with you family. Will your meetings run into soccer games and family dinners? Or if you are single, will this job keep you from enjoying your Friday nights with your squad? Consider your church activities as well. Many of us who are involved in our churches on a volunteer basis are involved based on our availability. Also, it would not be ideal to choose a job that would cut into your worship time either.
Location may seem like a small factor, but it is not. List it! Some jobs may require you to relocate. Or, you may have an opportunity to work remotely from any city. You also should take into account traveling time to work. Commuting to work is a real thing. Chances are, your job will not be in immediate close proximity to your home, and commuting time, especially in major cities, will need to be evaluated.
Now that you have made your chart, it is time to look it over carefully and begin to pray. As followers of Christ, prayer is one of our core values and we are called to be prayerful people. Jesus teaches us how to pray and teaches us that we have access to seek God directly for clarity and wisdom. We must not act on things that we have not taken the time to pray about, especially when it involves our livelihood.
In addition to the first chart, you will need to answer the Essential Questions, which are the deeper, reflective and evaluative questions that you must ask yourself, with prayer as the pathway to the answers.
What job do you really want and why do you want it? Prayer will lead you to understanding what it is that you ultimately want and why you want it. Knowing why you want a particular job is half of the battle.
How long do you plan to stay? Timing is key. If you are only planning to spend less than three years in a job as a stepping-stone, you may not want to consider a job that will want someone long-term. If this is your dream job, you may plan to stay until retirement. If you cannot see yourself working in a particular environment or under a particular boss or board for an extended period of time, you may want to consider something with either an end date or an easy to hire job.
Is it connected to your purpose? God is calling with and for a purpose. Choose the job that aligns with what God has dreamed for you.
Which of these jobs are connected to your core values as a believer? Your core values must never be compromised. If you sense that a particular job may entail your core values, this is a sign that it may be a better fit.
In the end, you must know that there is no such thing as the perfect job. However, there is a such thing as a good fit. Choose the offer that is the better fit for you. The Kingdom will be better served because of it.