Searching for a job is exhausting work whether you’re currently employed or unemployed. I’ve done both in the past couple years, but I remember being shocked at how tiring looking for a job was even when I didn’t have other work. When I quit my job a few years ago and spent three months unemployed and searching for my next opportunity, I remember believing the days would be long, luxurious, and productive. Then I started my job search and quickly realized that finding the right next spot can feel like a fulltime job and take up the same amount of time. Worst part? It didn’t pay.
Looking back on that time I am most grateful for the support of friends during that humbling, sometimes heartbreaking, time. I’ve previously shared that suddenly being the woman who didn’t have an answer to, ‘So what do you do for a living?’ really did a number on my self-confidence. I was disappointed in myself as I realized just how much of my identity I was finding in work instead of in who Christ has created me to be independent of my career. I struggled but thankfully, I wasn’t alone.
During my season of unemployment and job searching I had two close girlfriends who were in the same boat. Mere days into my ‘career break’ I called them up and rallied the troops. I told them I would have coffee brewed every morning by 8am and would plan to post up at the kitchen table until noon everyday if they’d like to grab a cup and join me. I then announced that at noon every day the community job search desk would be closing in favor of other activities. Some days we went for a walk, others to the pool, once or twice to the beach (benefit of living in Florida while unemployed), shopping, and beyond.
We made the most of the encouraging days (when interview requests came in, offer letters were received, or we got any sort of feedback on a resume), and we commiserated on the tough days where no traction was happening or worry set in. The good and bad days had this in common: no one was alone. We faced the job search roller coaster together and that was a huge blessing.
Chapter Two of our Hear God Calling You workbook (coming in October!) focuses on how we hear God. There are a variety of ways, as the workbook walks you through, but I find that He often speaks to me in community. I have connected with others at church, in a Bible study, while volunteering, and in small, temporary groups like my kitchen table job search club. I knew I would need women who knew God to get me through those months of wrestling with my decisions, doubting about my choice to leave my last career, and feeling insecure at being without a job and up in the air on where I was going.
The Bible also encourages community. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I needed help carrying my burdens and the two women I invited did just that for me as I worked to do the same for them. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 tells us to encourage the disheartened. If you’ve ever experienced a job search of any kind, I feel confident you know it can be extremely disheartening. So, I can’t tell you enough to press into your community – whether that’s connecting with friends, finding a Crossroads group near you, asking your Bible study for support, reaching out to your career network, or connecting with us through our website. Community is not a substitution for spending time with God, but it is a biblical avenue for the Lord to speak to and encourage you. During a job search is a crucial time for that.
Becca Christensen is a Crossroads Career Board Member and the editor of this blog since 2020. She recently moved into accounting within the automotive industry. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic football fan, and competitive at any and all board games.