Job Searching During a Pandemic!

A couple months ago (yes, it has been that long since I last posted something – my apologies), I mentioned that I was stressing about my job ending and having to find a new one.

There was a huge job fair here in town back in February. Because I know the organizers, and trying to help over 200 employees find new jobs, I ended up getting a link to some of the job openings a few days in advance. There were 2 jobs with one organization I felt I was qualified for. The problem was the jobs were not officially posted. I took a chance and sent my resume to the company before the job fair. Then while at the job fair, I introduced myself to the Senior HR Manager who was there so he could put a face to the name. The jobs were officially posted about a week later.

Then COVID-19 hit. The job closed and I sat waiting and still searching for other options. There were not many options in this rural area.

Throughout this time, I tried not to think about what would happen if June 26th came (my scheduled last day of work) and I didn’t have a job. I kept the date of July 13th in my head. I put it into the universe (and God’s ear) that I wanted to be starting a job by this date, if not sooner. This would give me a couple weeks off between jobs.

Just before Easter weekend, I reached out to the company to find out the status of the positions. Were they on hold because of the pandemic or had the positions been filled? I received an email later that night that they were contacting the potential candidates to verify they were still interested in the one position. The other position was on hold.

The following week they called me to set up an interview for the Health & Safety Manager position. Because of the virus, it would be a video conference with a panel of three interviewers.

The interview was scheduled for the following Thursday. In the days leading up to it, I researched the organization. As I still consider myself new to the area, I needed as much background information as I could get my hands on. I also spoke with a friend from CR who used to work for the company and knew the people who were interviewing me. He gave me some great insight to all the people and the organization as a whole. I was really nervous about it.

In addition to that, I wrote out potential answers to common interview questions. I have never prepared for an interview as much as I did for this one.

The night before the interview, I prayed. I prayed that if this job was what He had planned for me, that He would give me the words I needed to express. If this was not His plan for me, I would be okay with that too. Whatever God had in store for me, I would accept it either way.

The mourning of, and just before, I prayed again. I prayed the same prayer. I went in super calm. Except for the technical aspect of it. I was scared the video wouldn’t work on my computer, I had out IT guy on standby in case somehting went wrong.

For the interview itself, I had the attitude that I didn’t care if I got the job. If I got it, great! If not, I would be okay with that, too. I knew something else would turn up at some point.

I got through the interview. From my perspective, it had gone well. Overall, I was pleased. I was also excited. And anxious. What if they didn’t think I was good enough? What if they offered the job to someone else?

Well, I worried for nothing. The next day, I received a call requesting that I complete a personality assessment. This was Friday afternoon. By Monday, they were asking me for my references. On Wednesday, I checked my email and noticed I had something in m junk folder. The day before I received an email from a third party hired by the organization requesting authorization for a background check. The joys of being hired by a government agency. By Thursday, they had called all of my references, all of whom gave me a glowing reference, of course!

All of this was good news. Most companies don’t do background checks on multiple candidates for the same position because of the costs involved. Now I had to wait… and wait…

Friday came and went. Over the weekend, there wasn’t much I thought of other than getting THE call. Monday was as silent as Friday. On Tuesday, I went through the whole day without receiving the one call I wanted to receive. My car was in the shop so I had to go pick it up after work. While I was there waiting, my phone rang. It was 4:30 p.m.! I kinda recognized the number and knew I had to answer. It was the call I had been waiting for! Finally! (Did I mention that patience is not my strong suit?)

The job was mine if I wanted it. Of course I wanted it!

I start June 1 – just a few days from now. It is four weeks before I was expecting to finish my current position but I am okay with that.

Throughout my career, I have had friends and colleagues get multiple job offers at once and have had to choose between them. I have also had friends go months before finding a job.

The only time I have gone months without a job was in 2009 when the recession hit and I was out of work for 14 months. Any other time, I have only ever received one job offer at a time.

I have always taken this as God directing my career. He has put me where He wants me. For the last few months, I keep wondering why I am here or what my purpose is in this small town. I have shared these thoughts with you. In the end, after the fact, I always have seen God’s hand at work in my life, especially in my career.

I have always had faith that God will provide and take care of me. He has a purpose for me and my life, even when I don’t see it. Even when there are moments when our relationship is a little one-sided (like these days). He is always guiding me right where He wants me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the many blessings You have bestowed upon me. I know you have a plan for me, even when I don’t see it. I pray for wisdom, understanding and discernment as I start my new job. I pray for a heart of discovery and openness as I explore all the people and opportunities this job will have to offer. I am looking forward to the challenges, friendships and growth. Amen

People in my life have asked how I am holding up during this new normal, as they call it. Fortunately, for my husband and I, things are not much different. We have been working throughout this whole period. The only time we didn’t is when we were supposed to be going to Edmonton for my cousin’s wedding. I ended up with the stomach flu that week and we just chilled at home. We are both very grateful for being able to continue working. Even with my new job, I am still classified as an essential worker but will be able to work from home when/if I need to.

How have you been coping? How have you seen God at work in your career? Please share with me in the comments.

I forgot to post this song last night when I posted this. It was the first time I have heard it in a very long time. Enjoy it!

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