My Post Graduation Job Journey - A Testimony of God's Faithfulness
God told me to quit every job I got after graduating college...
Yep. Every last one of em. Let's start at the beginning...
I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Information Systems in December of 2015. When I first got to college I was a quiet, awkward, shy introverted(which in my case, meant I was scared of people) dude. I chose IS because I honestly wanted to make a lot of money easily and not have to deal with people. I discovered my passion for creating music and performing during my trek throughout college and I began to genuinely love interacting with people. I loved to be able to express myself and see how my voice and gifts were able to impact people in a positive way so I began to decide to pursue music and a people focused career.
My encounter with Jesus Christ in the summer of 2015 definitely shifted my heart in the direction of a people centric career as well. When I was entering my last semester of undergrad, I was in a bind. I had already completed 90% of my coursework yet was not completely passionate about the major I chose. I didn't want to spend more money to stay in school nor did I want to just drop out...nor did I want to have a career in something that would drain my energy and push me away from my passion. I thought I was stuck.
In late October, I got a job offer from a large prominent company in IT for a role as an Application Developer. It was a full blown job offer; Full-time salary, signing bonus, benefits, the whole 9. It seemed like a "good" gig and I actually got this job offer before our campus wide career fair. If I accepted it, I wouldn't have to deal with the stress of searching for a job in that frantic season of college life. So, I had about a week to decide on if I wanted the job or not...and I declined it. Yep. I declined it. I just didn't want to do development and I was confident that I could find a better role and I didn't want to damage my reputation by accepting a role and rescinding it, so I declined it.
In hindsight, I feel that it was foolish. I put myself through the unnecessary stress of trying to find a job, when I had one on the table. I could have accepted the offer just in case something else didn't come up. I could have also used my job offer as leverage in other interviews too but you know, you live and you learn.
After several interviews with great companies, and I ended up getting a job offer the day that I graduated college. Woot woot! God was right on time, as always! I entered into the new year with a new career and a salary and whole new way of life or so I thought.
I got to my first job out of school and I was completely miserable. I had college withdrawals like crazy and felt like I was living inside of a corporate nightmare. I awoke when the sun was down, drove an hour or more to work, stayed in my cubicle for 8-9 hours, and then left when the sun was down. It's safe to say that wasn't the formula for success or happiness. I didn't fit into their culture at all and felt like I was dying internally there. The job itself wasn't difficult at all, but the environment was eating at my soul because I know it isn't where I was supposed to be...and my work performance showed it.
One day I was in my car reading before work and God told me to quit. 🤔🙃😬😩 Excuse me? Yep, He said quit. Although I hated the job, I stayed because they paid me a great salary coming out of school and that provided security...but God told me to quit...so you know... I stayed.
Up until that point, I never had to depend on God to be my provider because I had a job since I was 17. I believe in that season God wanted to show me His faithfulness and how much He is really able to provide for my needs. I enjoyed the comfort and stability and didn't want to risk being unemployed, so I told God, "I'll think about it" and we all know what that means.
The very next week I told Him that, I got laid off. 😩😣 ! God wasn't playing around!! I was escorted out of the building and my journey to finding another job began.
In the months that I spent unemployed, I spent a lot of time in my prayer closet trying to find out who exactly God is. He still provided for me abundantly in that when I was laid off, I was still given generous severance pay so I got to pay my rent and do other things I wanted to do. It wasn't that bad of a deal. However as time went on, I got more and more discouraged and I began to lose hope in finding another role. I would interview and interview but nothing was hitting.
I ended up landing a job as a Jr. Business Analyst at one of the top companies in the state later that summer. That was God's favor indeed because I didn't deserve to be there! Everyone was so smart and I struggled a great deal with the imposter syndrome. Nonetheless, I made it work and things were going alright.
Not long after I got the job, God told me to quit again! I was in dismay! I just got there a few months ago and He told me to leave...so you know, I didn't.
Turns out the company didn't have the budget to keep my contract going so, I was laid off and unemployed yet again.
A few months later, Jesus blessed me with a job at a company that I previously interned for. I was doing random work but it paid the bills and wasn't a bad company however I was still unfulfilled.
God eventually told me yet again to quit and go work on my website(this website) so of course...you know... I didn't do it. I didn't think it was really God. I didn't think He wanted me to do something I actually wanted to do...so I was told at the end of my contract that I wouldn't get an extension. Oh joy...
After this job, I didn't enter the corporate world for about 11 months. I returned to one of my old jobs and then became loss prevention officer which turned out to be a blessing because I was able to exercise my faith in some crazy ways! I saw God do some great things there. One day, I was patrolling the hotel and God told me to quit yet again...
Now, I reasoned with myself and with God this time. The last 3 times I heard this command and I disobeyed, it didn't end well...so I took a logical step and asked God to confirm it. I specifically said, "Okay God, if this is you let 'X,Y and Z' happen tonight" and in a way that I wouldn't have expected, "X,Y,and Z" happened!! So I just went ahead and put in my two week notice. No plan. NO severance pay. No nothing. I just dipped.
After resigning from this job, I got a role as a server at a local fast food joint. I'll be honest with you, I felt low. Here I was, a college graduate who had internships and jobs at some of the most prestigious companies in the state and now I'm serving tables and barely making it. I was humbled. Boy, I was humbled.
I couldn't show my face around my old friends or colleagues so I isolated myself and nobody knew about my job ordeal. I kept silent and that is honestly what I feel kept me in my situation. If I'd have reached out and asked more people for help I don't doubt that I'd have gotten it. I just didn't want to humble myself and ask.
Eventually, once again, God told me to quit. I asked God for confirmation again and He responded, so, I did it. I quit again and this time I resolved to follow my mentors advice and driving for Lyft for a while.
Twas an interesting experience and I met some really cool people driving. I eventually found that I needed to get back into my field of study soon so I began to go back on the hunt....
Let's backtrack a tad bit.
When I was still in school, my last semester I met a recruiter from a company called MailChimp. The recruiter was really engaging, kind, and noticeably genuine. She informed me of the roles available however, at the time, I didn't have the experience for them. Fast forward to when God told me to quit my first job, MailChimp contacted me about a role I was interested so I applied, and got an interview! I think the interview went pretty well but I didn't get the job. As I took the tour of the facility, I just KNEW that I was supposed to be working there so I continued to keep my eyes peeled for an opening.
I got another interview a few months later and once again, no dice. I wasn't done yet though. I probably interviewed 3 or 4 times with MailChimp that year and the last time I did I was almost certain that I would get the job, but I didn't. It was probably my best interview I've ever in life and I still didn't get the job. I was discouraged, I won't lie..but I wouldn't stop applying.
Later on the next summer Jesus put it on my heart to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn to see if they have jobs available and I decided to contact the people whom I interviewed with and see if they had any positions available...and they didn't...HOWEVER... they put my in contact with the manager who is over the position that I desired.
The manger added me on LinkedIn and let me know that he heard about my prior interviews and wanted to meet with me and get to know me more. I ended up going in for an informal interview later on the next month. After the interview I was told that there would not be a position open until January of the next year(this year) and that was good enough for me.
I figured I would get a temporary contract job until Janurary when I could re-apply, BUT God...
One day in November, I decided to apply to another role and work my way into the role I wanted, so I asked the recruiter I knew if it would be a wise decision.
At the time I emailed the recruiter, I got a message from the manager saying that they were opening up the role I desired! As God would have it, while I was emailing the recruiter, they were already meeting about offering me the role and I was offered the position that SAME day!
I went through unemployment for months at a time, was humbled to several degrees but was never completely broken. By the grace and favor of God, I was raised back up.
The main lessons I learned during this experience were:
God's timing is perfect
Trust God and His process for you
The process to attaining the job was over but the journey of growth has just begun. I hope this encourages any recent graduates or anyone going through a similar process. God is faithful and He won't fail you.
Continue to Ask, Seek, and Knock.