by Dave Hintz
For those of you who have been keeping track, you know that I am on crusade to push our young men to set direction for their life and seek to become providers for their future families. To encourage them on that journey, I want to offer some practical advice for how to get a job that will allow you to fulfill your biblical priorities. Here are some pointers for getting started:
1. Realize that work takes work.
Many young men and women want to find a job that won’t feel like work. Their job must be challenging, fun, interesting, and pay well. Yet, as we discussed in the last article, the type of job you acquire does not guarantee joy. Rather, it is the mindset with which you approach work that will make it rewarding. If you realize that your employer is the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:24), and you can give Him honor by the way you work and your ability to provide for your family, then you will have joy in your job.
2. Be Realistic:
There is a .005% chance that an American male will play professional football – the largest employer of professional athletes. Those seeking to become professional musicians or actors face similarly long odds. While sports, music, and art are valuable life skills, and some can even provide a free college education, one must realize that there is a limit to their likely earning potential. When choosing a career path, one should consider the feasibility of entering the field. And if you choose a highly competitive career path (i.e. the fire department) it would be wise to consider a solid plan B.
3. Choose a job that will be in demand:
The US department of labor forecasts of the highest-demand jobs include the following:
- Registered nurse
- Network systems administrator/analyst
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Health diagnosis technician
- Computer software engineer
- Dental hygienist
- Law enforcement officer
- Teacher (all levels)
In pursuing these careers there is a strong likelihood that a job will be waiting for you once you jump the requisite hurdles.
4. Pursue a reasonable amount of education.
In October of 2006 the AP reports:
“College graduates made an average of $51,554 in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for adults with a high school diploma. High school dropouts earned an average of $19,169 and those with advanced college degrees made an average of $78,093.”
$23,000 can be the difference between allowing your wife to stay home with the children or being forced to ask her to work. Those who are able should seek to finish college. This does not mean that you should stay in college forever, but that earning a degree can go a long way towards opening the door to a well-paying job.
5. Stay on a constant career path.
If possible, stay with the same firm or company for at least five years. In doing so, you will demonstrate to future employers that you are a loyal employee who accomplished his or her job with proficiency. Quitting after a month or even a year can be a blight on your résumé.
Lord willing, you will take this advice to heart and see your future employment as one of the ways in which you can give God glory and honor with your life. Through your job you will be able to provide for your future family, help your future wife fulfill her calling, and give generously to the work of the ministry. You may have to sweat and toil to get there, but the payoff will be worth it in the end.