Wednesday, October 2, 2013


If you've never heard this expression before, it stands for, approximately, "Another Fabulous Growth Opportunity." While I can't deny that searching for a new job is an opportunity for personal growth, sometimes the experience is less than fabulous. Rejection happens, and that can be painful. I have a number of go-to affirmations to deal with being rejected for a job that I really wanted and felt I could do well.
  • "A better opportunity is coming up later."
  • "This process has helped me learn what I need to know to successfully compete for a better opportunity."
  • "The Lord works in mysterious ways. This job wasn't the right thing for me right now, for reasons I do not yet understand but will likely become clear in the days ahead."
You get the idea. I hope these affirmations don't seem lame to you, because there have been times in my life in which the conviction that something better is coming is the only thing that keeps despair at bay--and if I could not keep despair at bay, something better would be far less likely to come along.

There is such a thing as a downward spiral, and it takes work--spiritual work--to stay out of it.

I'm not saying that forces beyond individual control, such as an economic recession, don't play a role in job searches. I am saying that if we let the things that go wrong in life get us down, the weight can crush us. The only way to change the outcome of a job search is to learn from rejection and failure.

This is the third time in my life that I have had an extended job search. Each time I have learned and grown from the experience. It can be painful, but it  can also be joyful. It can provide the gift of re-invention.  We don't always seek this gift, and we probably need it more often than we seek it. Each time I have simplified my life and re-ordered my priorities. Here are the top tips that helped me cope:
  • Keep yourself together. If you are unemployed or underemployed you may not be able to keep up a high-maintenance appearance, but when you are out and about when you might run into professional colleagues, try to look as though you have it together. You really never know when this will happen. I ran into a former Board member at a supermarket yesterday. 
  • Think of finding a job as your job. A job gives a sense of purpose, so you need to believe that you have one in order to be the sort of purposeful person an employer wants to hire.
  • Fit some volunteer work into your schedule. Coworkers help keep up morale in a workplace, and volunteering can help you experience the morale boost of working with like-minded others and accomplishing something of value. 
  • Reach out for support. There are support groups for Pastors in many states. If you are not in one, talk to you denominational official. I have been a member of a group for years and during that time members have gone through employment searches and endured periods of unemployment. We have always been there for each other and it makes a big difference.                                                          
I blog, therefore I am. If you liked this post and want some food for thought about church ministry, check out If you or anyone you know is looking to hire a new Pastor, check out my professional profile blog at
Like The Wilderness Time on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment