Let’s rewind to 2013. I was 22 years old, fresh out of college, and ready to take on the world with my recently earned degree. I searched for positions with a certain amount of salary. I considered moving to Atlanta, Chicago and D.C. to live out my 20’s doing me and traveling. I was expecting to do things my way and get paid while I did.
Well I did get paid….a smooth reality check.
It didn’t occur to me that hundreds of people were applying for the same positions I was. Neither did it occur to me that I needed qualities that set me apart from the rest. See, I knew how to represent myself as a good employee, but I wasn’t actually a good employee at the time. I shared with multiple interviewers my many talents, strengths and a work ethic…that I didn’t have. I was selling a product I didn’t own.
I had A LOT to learn about the work place, as well as honoring God in it. So for two years after I graduated the Lord taught me all about responsibility, having integrity, being reliable and a boat load of other lessons. He wanted to make sure the answers I gave in the interview were from experience and not lying just so I can get hired. It was definitely a humble season but it was very beneficial.
After college I joined AmeriCorps, which is a domestic version of the Peace Corps. If you know anything about gap year service terms you know that although it’s a great service experience, we don’t get paid much at all; $5.50/hr to be exact. When I started working, it was more than what I was used to making as a student, but I definitely didn’t have room to be foolish with my money. As I looked around and saw my peers buying new cars, getting great jobs, and traveling the world, my happiness quickly turned into discontentment.
I wasn’t in the position to do any of that. So comparison started creeping its way into my thoughts and I, filled with discontentment, entertained them. I had to pray against coveting and that I would be content with where God had me. During those two years God provided for me tremendously. I learned to enjoy budgeting instead of splurging. Thrifting, discount movie days and free weekend events in the city became my favorite past time. I started to take getting to work on time seriously and I became a reliable employee. I didn’t have a lot of money to work with, but my bills were paid. I learned that my priorities are more important than the material things I wanted. It’s not that the Lord couldn’t provide those things, but in that season He had other lessons to teach me. And boy, did He get His point across Lol.
Top 6 Lessons
1. You don’t know everything, and that’s ok!
You transition into adulthood, you don’t become one overnight. Trial and error in the area of finances and responsibilities on the job are inevitable but take it as a lesson learned.
2. Comparison is the thief of joy.
That’s why the Lord tells us not to covet. If we do we won’t be satisfied with our portion because we’ll be too busy admiring how God blessed or decides to use someone else.
3. Priorities, Priorities, Prior-i-ties!
I can’t say it enough! Don’t be the girl whose all ways out having fun but your gas tank, fridge and bank account is on E. If you decline discipline in private, your card will get declined in public. That’s in the book of Experiences chapter 5, verse 2 lol
4. Whatever you do, give it your best! (1 Cor 10:31)
Whether it’s waiting tables or you own the restaurant, do it to the glory of God.
5. Honor God in all ways.
With your work ethic, financial giving, spending time wisely, cleaning your house, etc. For me this lesson is continual. Its surprises me to see the things that I thought were little, are actually acts of worship :)
6. Have fun!
Don’t get too caught up in your career that you don’t enjoy life. Find a hobby, spend time with loved ones and make all the memories your heart desires.
Adjusting to life as an adult was sobering. In college I was extremely irresponsible with my money, time and my work ethic was poor. It had to change if I was going to progress not just in my career but in life. My job was (and still is) the vehicle He used to instill those characteristics in me. Whether you’re unhappy with your current position or you’re enjoying it, the workplace can serve as a classroom if you’re willing to let it.