The primary focus of any successful job search should be to expend most of your energy pursuing those job opportunities that will best match your skills, education and experience. However, you may want to consider a back up “Plan B,” particularly if you have been out of work for an extended period of time.
Continue to search out new job openings and leads, but also consider ways to supplement your income in the process. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Perhaps earlier in your life you worked in landscaping or were a clerk in a retail store. Maybe you worked in construction or in an office. Well, now may be the time to consider falling back on your earlier skills by seeking out a part-time position while you continue to spend time on your primary search.
Consider the example of Paul. He was an experienced tentmaker before he got the call to follow Christ and be his disciple. Yet, from time to time, he integrated his discipleship with his former occupation. “So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.” (Acts. 18:3, NKJV)
When I was a teenager, my brother and I started a contract painting business to make money to pay for tuition at a private college. Although at first we were pretty slow painters, after several years we got to be pretty good and had as many jobs as we could handle. Sometimes the days were long and sometimes we underestimated a job bid resulting in less profit than we had planned. However, our painting income helped both of us pay for a significant share of our college expenses.
Fast-forward a few decades when I found myself between jobs. Although my first priority was to find a job that would best match my education and experience (in my case, marketing and communications), I did put my somewhat rusty painting skills to use by doing some part-time work for a homebuilder I knew from church.
I remember doing a couple of all-nighter painting jobs to get newly completed houses ready for the next morning’s home inspection. We raced to finish the interior walls before the sun rose. This work brought in some needed dollars and also provided a sense of accomplishment that can some times be lacking when one only focuses on “Plan A.”
Ask God to guide your thoughts and actions as you pursue both your primary and your secondary plans. He knows your needs and has supplied you with a unique set of skills and experiences that can be put to use in several ways.
Maybe you aren’t skilled in making tents like Paul, but don’t be hesitant to fall back on your past as a means to propel you forward to your future.
By Keith Lundquist
For more blogs and related resources on building your faith during a job search, go to www.FaithBetweenJobs.com