A younger friend asked me for career advise to share with some high schoolers. I wondered what I could say, so I went mute on him. His polite reminder a few days later threw my mind into reflection mode. What career advise would I give you my teen self? I penned this down and shared with him:
1. Remind them that they are each special and that God has a purpose for each of them, a purpose that none else can accomplish. (Jeremiah 29:11). Do not compare yourself with others. Each one has his own path, his own timing, his own results. Your path is unique to you. Stick to your lane.
2. There are limitless possibilities in Christ. You can trust God to accomplish incredibly great and mighty things in your life, not just spiritually, but even in your career. (Ephesians 3:20)
3. Careers do not make us. Character is what makes a man or a woman. Your value is not determined by what you do. It is defined by the value Christ put on you, which was His infinite precious blood. Therefore, do not reduce your worth to how much you earn, where you work, whom you know, what you don’t know. Build your character, let good virtues–truth, diligence, integrity, kindness, hardwork, etc–stand out. These will open more doors for you than you can imagine.
4. Whatever you get your hands to do, do it so well that the angels in heaven can say, “Herein was a sweeper, an excellent sweeper.” (Colossians 3:23)
5. We are called to be faithful not rich. If in the process we get rich, praise God. Just be faithful in the little and s/he who is faithful in little will be blessed with much. (Matthew 25:21)
6. Be patient with yourself. Do not be in a hurry to get wealthy. The easier it comes, the easier it is to loose it. (Proverbs 13:11)
7. When considering a certain career, talk with others who have gone through the same path, find out their challenges and their victories. Consider getting a mentor where possible.
8. Just because you choose career A, does not mean you cannot change to career B or C. Change is possible along the way, even at 60 years of age!
9. Consider your gifts, your talents, your personality, what you enjoy doing. If you are good with your hands, get something technical; if you are good at leadership, consider something in that line; if you are God with numbers consider careers that will allow you play with numbers; etc.
10. In today’s world, you can earn some clean money almost out of anything. So you must not get a white-collar job to earn a meaningful income. Do not be afraid to venture out and be different.
11. Do not overthink it. Invite God into your plans and He shall prosper you.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: Fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, And marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8, KJV)
12. Remember to give back tithe (10%) of all your income to God. (Leviticus 27:30)
In hindsight, what career advise do you have for your teen self? Would be glad to hear from you.