1999: How to Get a Job by Not Looking for a Job

Summary

  • Having right qualifications doesn’t necessarily mean you can get interviews for a job
  • Learn to be obedient if God gives you an instruction, even if the logic doesn’t add up. His ways are higher than ours.
  • I landed a job after I surrendered to God

I couldn’t handle the stress of being a sales man. I thought I could, but after 6 months as a Business Development Manager, I realized that selling things and meeting quotas were a LOT harder than it looked.

So, what happened?

With all my ‘youthful’ exuberance, I was a bright, ambitious IT professional. After all, I graduated as a Computer Engineer in 1995, and had completed my Microsoft Certified Technical Engineer (MCSE) professional accreditation in mid-1997. MCSEs were a sought after IT accreditation during my time in the 90s as those who had them could command a salary premium.

MCSE

I worked at a computer OEM in Sydney as a product manager in late 1997. After a few months, I couldn’t help but notice many of the sales folks or Business Development Managers (BDMs) there drove nice flashy sports cars, had an air of self-confidence and were dressed impeccably. Not that product managers were not in the same league, but I was so captivated by the apparent life that a BDM appeared to live that I said to myself, “I think it’s good for me to be a BDM too. I liked what I saw”.

Shortly after making up my mind, I mustered enough courage and told my manager that I wanted to be a BDM. Now, my manager was an experienced, polished salesman. Confident and self-assured. He gave me that *look* and saw my youthful bravado. I couldn’t exactly recall what he said, but what I do remember was he gave me the approval to do so. I was going to be a BDM!

Beyond the apparent glamor, little did I know that doing cold calls, securing meetings in the corporate world, and winning deals were actually very very hard. Very hard. I gave it a go for a few months before I finally threw the towel in. I was a struggling salesman. I couldn’t hit my sales quota. That’s when I cried out to God, “Get me out of this. I need an easier job!”

So without really consulting God for the next steps, I decided to bail out in mid-1999. For the next few weeks, I decided to apply to as many jobs as I could outside the company – as fast as I could. I handed out my resumes to recruitment companies. I applied for jobs through the papers. Strangely, I could not land a proper interview. And this was despite the fact I was seemingly paper qualified for those roles.

Why was that?

In my heart, I knew that was because I didn’t seek God. I was running without Him. After many weeks of trials, I surrendered my pounding heart to Him. I felt God saying that “I should just stop applying for jobs” and leave the outcome to Him.

“What?”

“Stop applying for a job?”

“If I don’t apply for a job, how in the world would a company be able to find and hire me? That defies logic”

With hindsight, I learnt that it’s better to put aside the 6 inches or 15cm of logic that resided between our two ears AND listen to what the eternal and wise God says. Isaiah 55:9 says,

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

 Thankfully and mercifully, God was patient with me. I finally gave in and said to God, “OK God, I’m going to give in to your ways. I can’t handle the stressful BDM job. But if this is where you want me to be, I’ll stay there. I’ll wait for you to get me out of this role. I’m going to stop applying for jobs”.

Two weeks later, a head hunter for a semiconductor company called me up and invited me for an interview. I wasn’t sure how they got my resume; but the fact was they found me, and called me for an interview. The rest is history. I passed the interviews and joined that company at the end of 1999.

My advice to you if you are reading this story is this. God knows best. If He gives you an instruction, JUST DO IT. You don’t have to understand how it works, but learn to trust God. Having right qualifications doesn’t necessarily mean you can get interviews, much less a job. There is a common saying, “It’s who you know, not what you know”. We are not to use human wisdom and logic but rather, learn to be obedient if God tells you to do so. Against human odds and logic, I got my interview and landed a job after I surrendered to God. The odds are in your favour when you walk in obedience to God.

Translation


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