Growing up, some of my favorite memories were long family road trips where we piled into the station wagon, loaded up with snacks and headed out. It was always an adventure, and the journey was just as fun as arriving at our final destination. My Dad would map out our route. We’d have a plan, but I also recall the unplanned stops along the way to see an interesting site or explore something off the main highway. We experienced the trip through open windows, pointed out funny roadside signs and kept track of how many different states license plates we could find. And even when we faced an unforeseen problem like car trouble, we made the best of it. It was all part of the adventure. Today, our road trips are different. We use GPS navigation systems, and this awesome technology will estimate arrival time and map out alternative routes. We are directed where to turn, with minute-by-minute updates to ensure we’re avoiding accidents and on the most efficient route. Time is of the essence; the destination is the ultimate goal, and we want to get there fast.
The path to find the “right” job is like a road trip. You need a roadmap, you need a plan and you want to get their as fast as possible. I believe the quest for finding career fulfillment though comes from the journey as well as landing in the right spot. Sure, arriving at the destination is what motivates us to keep moving forward, but the journey is where life happens and where we grow and learn. God will lead us. It’s up to us though, to be watching for His road signs along the way, listening for His voice calling and be willing to re-route our plans. Easier said than done.
We want to see far ahead and what’s around the next bend, but it takes work to find the answers. When we’re speeding along with the primary intention to get to our final destination, we miss stuff. I suggest we need to slow down and enjoy the journey a bit more. When we’re looking too much in the rear-view mirror, we miss the signs on the side of the road, so we need to scan and look around more. Maybe we find ourselves distracted with daily noise that we miss the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit or subtle human connections that can impact our lives. We want to be in control of the directions and where we’re headed, but we need instead to trust God’s plan, not our GPS, for the journey. Easier said than done.
Psalms 32:8 promises “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
Having been on that journey before myself and trying to find my way without the roadmap was tough. I didn’t have resources to help me understand and discern where my God given gifts, strengths and passions could be maximized in the workplace. I was lucky to have guidance from trusted mentors and a community that prayed with and for me. They gave me practical advice. I also was fortunate to work for a company which helped me and supported me in my exploration.
This is why I’m involved with Crossroads Career. Everyone needs a roadmap and guide as they find their way. Crossroads provides the resources which are the roadmap for the journey. Crossroads connects you with a small group community, so you don’t have to take the journey on your own. Crossroads has experienced guides to help navigate the trip alongside you. And most importantly, Crossroads connects each person with Jesus Christ on their journey and helps each individual unfold God’s plan. Individually, we still need to do the practical work to find the answers, but Crossroads provides the resources to help, and we make sure you’re not trying to find your way alone. My prayer is that you are blessed by the journey.
Jan has over 25 years of professional experience in human resources and is a Crossroads board member.