I’ve been blessed to work with and for some great people while others we’re a couple of fries short of a happy meal. If this resonates with you, I want to share some red flags you need to watch out for as you progress in your career. I’m going to approach this from two different angles:

1.) Those who are currently unemployed and seeking a new job.

2.) Those who are currently employed and trying to determine if they should look for a new job.

Regardless of which situation you may be in, today’s episode will help you to discover why we should approach our careers from a spiritual perspective.

Other episodes/articles/verses referenced in this episode:

Today is the last episode in our September Self-Series. I know I learned a lot and based on the messages I’ve received it sounds like you did as well. I want to once again thank my guests Katie Lovitt, Christy Matusiak, Lynn Roach, and Mary Adeyemi for coming on to the show. In case you missed their episodes, I’ll share them with you in the show notes. They dropped a lot of gems and I want to make sure you collect all of them so I highly recommend checking out those interviews.

I don’t know about you, but it’s incredible to think that we’re about to start Q4. Again, I feel like time is just flying by. Now I know a lot of people are going to be focused on how to finish this year strong. Yes, I totally get it and you should do that but I want you to have a balance. 

I want you to take time to also reflect on where you want to be next year. Ask yourself this from a personal and business perspective. Once you have the answer to where you want to be personally then you’re equipped to tackle the business aspect. The reason why I’m saying this is because your life comes first. You only get one life. So once you determine how you want to live it, it’s in your best interest to pursue occupations that will place you in the best position to fund the life you seek to live. Now I know that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve been there. You can go back and listen to Ep. 159 How to Embrace the Unconventional for more details about my life. 

In my circle, I tend to be the person people go to or feel comfortable coming to for advice–personal or business. Lately, many of my conversations seem to be centered on their career. I figured I would do this episode because it may help out other people who find themselves in the same situation.

Before we jump into the advice, I want to make sure you’re approaching your career decisions from the right frame of mind. I think one of the reasons that people tend to come to me for advice is because I’ve worked in a variety of capacities in the marketing arena which has allowed me to work with different types of personalities. I’ve been blessed to work with and for some great people while others we’re a couple of fries short of a happy meal.  

Regardless of what type of situation I found myself in, I made sure that I approached my job from a spiritual mindset. ​​For example, a spiritual mindset helps us to have confidence in ourselves and faith in Christ. A spiritual mindset helps us to view our circumstances from the right perspective. 

We don’t allow negative circumstances to hold us, hostage, to the point that we become complacent in a dead-end job. Or even worse, become so impatient that we move ahead of God’s timing. In both situations, we will derail the promotion Christ is waiting to give us (Jeremiah 29:11; Ps 139:16). 

Whether that promotion is physical or spiritual, I don’t know. What I do know is that when we grow in grace and learn what Christ is trying to teach us, promotion is inevitable. This is what happened to many others throughout the Bible With Peter, despite his faith failures, once He had grown in grace, Christ promoted Peter.  He was the chief speaker on the Day of Pentecost and helped save a lot of people (Act 2:14-47).  

When we approach our job from a spiritual state of mind, is a win, win for everyone involved, including your company.  For starters, your company will receive quality work for a full day’s pay. Christians are not slackers. We do everything to the best of our ability. You as a Christian employee will win because having a spiritual mindset will help us to keep our focus on the lessons that God wants us to learn so we can advance more quickly in life while simultaneously positioning us to receive the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4; James 1:17).  

I think where things get twisted is that many of the lessons that we learn can’t be learned with ease ( Philippians 4:13). Some of these lessons we need to learn are going to take us outside our comfort zone. I cannot tell you how many times I came home crying or if I was at work and found myself crying in a bathroom stall. Depending on the blessing Christ is trying to give you, your circumstance could be more difficult and take longer than others. This is why we need to stop comparing ourselves to other people.  Keep your focus on Christ and the job He is training you to do.  

Despite those who may be trying to hold you back, if you stay in faith, learn the lessons God wants you to learn, and do the actions He wants you to do promotion is inevitable; (Jeremiah 29:11; Ps 139:16)  There are plenty of examples of this throughout the Bible. You can look at Joseph, David, Peter, and several others (myself included), as evidence of this fact.

This same work ethic and promotion concept applied to Christ.  When God had Christ in training to take over heaven and earth, Christ kept His focus on what God was teaching Him and NOT what Satan and his demons were doing.  As a result, Christ received His promotion and is now seated on the right hand of God (Acts 5:29-31). Again, focus on the lesson God is trying to teach you so can reduce the time it takes for you to get your promotion.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve seen what I talked about play out in my own life. I’m 40 years old, so I’ve definitely worked my fair share of jobs. There were jobs I loved and then there were jobs that caused me to feel like I was just living for the weekend. Hopefully, this is resonating with you because now I want to share some red flags you need to watch out for as you progress in your career. I’m going to approach this from two different angles. Those who are currently seeking a new job and those who are currently employed and trying to determine if they need to bounce.

Again, once you’ve got your mindset together then you can start to dive into the advice I’m about to give.  So let’s start with the advice I would give to those who are currently unemployed and searching for a job:

  1. Thoroughly research the company you are applying for on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Based on your level of comfort and how badly you want that particular role, I would even contact the recruiter or see if I’m connected to any other contacts that work there to learn more about the company. I’m a look before you leap kind of gal. I’m going to know as much about that place as possible before I go all in and apply for the role.
  1. Make sure your resume is updated. If you have more than 10 years of experience, craft your resume in such a way as to highlight the most relevant work and years that align with the role you want.  Now the next couple of points may be considered controversial or bad advice, but I’m someone who values my time so you do you.
  1. If the salary is not posted, I will ask about salary compensation during the first interview. What you’re not going to do is waste my time and have me go through several interviews only to find out that the position you’re interviewing for is not aligned with your salary requirements. That’s ridiculous. You will never catch me in that situation. Another thing regarding salary, do not share the salary made at your last job. Yesterday’s price is not today’s price. Don’t cheat yourself out of making more money.
  1. Know your limitations.  My limit is three interviews. The interview process should not last for eternity. This is especially true for my US audience. Literally, just about every company is set up as at-will employment. The company can lay you off or fire you without a reason and you as an employee can leave without giving a reason as well. You can leave at any time so let’s not make this process harder than it needs to be. You need help, I need a job, let’s make this happen.

If I ask how soon you’re looking to hire this person and I hear, “We’re just looking for the right person,” that serves as an indication to me that you’re indecisive and will most likely waste my time by making the interview process last longer than need be. 

If you respect everyone’s time, it really shouldn’t take long to determine if that person is right for the job. Interview 1: Introduction 1 Interview 2: Listen we like you/ Do you like us? Interview 3: Let’s work together That is it. 

  1. As I’ve gotten older, I’m incredibly protective of my time. If your hiring process involves taking ridiculous personality tests, giving a presentation, or any other type of work that I’m not being compensated for in hopes that I will be hired count me out. I will not do it for a variety of reasons.
    1. One, the folks typically administering the test are the exact same people who never had to take the test they are asking you to take. Gotta love the irony in that one. 
    2. This is equally if not more important than what I just said…when a company is asking you to analyze data and present your findings to them, many times even though these companies say they are using mock data many times they are not. You’re doing their job by solving real-life scenarios. You better believe that company is going to use every last idea they get from the candidates they interview. That  Now imagine giving an awesome presentation only to find out that you didn’t get the job and to add insult to injury you just gave away ideas for free. Let them hire a consultant

Again, I don’t have the time or energy to jump through hoops. My resume and conversation should be enough. If it’s not then clearly that is not the place for me. Thank goodness we both saved ourselves from being miserable.

  1. Remember, the interview process is a two-way street. Ask questions. I want to have as much information as possible about the company so I can make an informed decision. “What do opportunities for growth look like?” is one of my favorite ones to ask. How much travel is required? If they give a vague answer then I know if I decide to take that role, I may not be there long…

Now that wraps up the things I would keep in mind if I were unemployed and currently searching for a job.

Switching gears, let’s say you’re currently employed. You’ve been on the job for more than a year. You’re constantly told you’re doing a great job, you’re hitting all your milestones, but you don’t see any substantial lift in pay or promotions. What do you do? 

  1. Ask yourself, “How happy am I here?” If you’re working in a toxic environment and you don’t see it changing obviously get out of there. 
  2. If you think this might be a place you want to stay at then by all means say something. A closed mouth does not get fed. It’s incredibly naive to think that people are going to notice your hard work and shower you with promotions or raises (especially if you’re not the type to suck up). Typically what ends up happening is that your reward is additional work without compensation. Does this sound familiar? If so, it’s time to ask for a raise, promotion, or even both.

A lot of people, especially women, have been conditioned to think that negotiating is a bad thing like you’re being greedy or selfish.  This is simply not the case. You set the tone for what you are willing to accept. If you’re passionate about something there’s nothing wrong with fighting for it or taking a risk.

There are people in the Bible such as Abraham and Hezekiah that negotiated with God.  For example, Abraham negotiated on behalf of the people that lived in Sodom. The city was filled with so much sin that God was like, “ I’m done. I’m just going to destroy it.” 

Abraham launches into full-on negotiation mode with God. 

Abraham goes, “Will you actually destroy the righteous along with the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in Sodom?” God says, if you can find 50 righteous people then I’ll forgive them and not destroy the city.”  Abraham and God go back and forth until they settle on the number 10. 

Hezekiah negotiated to extend his life by 15 years. 

If we can negotiate with God, then we should be able to negotiate with anybody. 

A couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to negotiate for a higher salary:

  • Obviously, make sure you have achieved the goals placed before you.
  • Summarize your unique skills 
  • Highlight your wins 
  • Share salary discrepancy data by going on Glassdoor or Indeed 

If you’ve met all of the aforementioned criteria, then you should be able to confidently ask for that raise. With that said, be prepared the conversation may not go the way you want it to go, but at least you can go to sleep at night knowing you tried to advocate for yourself.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, these are flags you need to watch out for so you can get to the next level in your career.

This is the last episode in the September Self-Care series. This series focused on getting your mind, body, and soul a much-needed push to start or get back on track. I’ve got amazing guests discussing topics ranging from health to career development that will motivate you to take action. This series is going to leave you feeling inspired and ready to invest in yourself. You’re worth the risk!😉😘

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