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Friday, February 12, 2016

Courage in the Dreaded Job Hunt

by Dina Sleiman

On Monday I’ll be starting a new job, and boy did this whole job search put all I’ve learned writing my Valiant Hearts Series to the test. It can be scary to go and hunt for a new job, especially when you’ve never had a full-time job and you’ve been (for most intents and purposes) a stay at home mom for two decades.

But much like my heroines, I had to find my courage and prepare for this battle. Maybe my preparations were more along the lines of studying the job market, preparing a kick-butt resume, and taking online classes to fill in some missing skills. And instead of armor, I donned a new business suit, classy jewelry, makeup, and professional-looking nail polish.

All along a little voice in the back of my head wanted to tell me that I’d never find a decent job, that no one wanted to hire a middle-aged mom, that I was crazy to intentionally enter the “rat race,” that I’d have to give up writing novels because I’d be too wiped out after a forty hour work week. But with two kids in private college and the debts stacking up, my family needed this, and again much like my heroines who never make excuses and do what must be done, I took up my sword (okay, my resume) and prepared to fight.

As the battle waged on I realized a few things. First of all, I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. That I hadn’t given up my chance at a career by staying home, and that all of the accomplishments I’d had in life and writing weren’t for nothing. I also realized that this was really just a continuation of what I had always done, putting my family first, but that my family was in a new season and needed me to ward off financial stress and help my children pursue their dreams and passions rather than stay home and nurture little people. Finally, I realized that deep down…I was a huge weenie, and it was time to show that courage I’ve been writing about.

Sometimes when God calls us to a mission, like writing novels, we make that mission the goal. But the true goal is serving God. And when we get too focused on the mission, God often asks us to lay it down, at least for a while. I was ready to take my focus off writing novels and put my focus on God. I was willing to put novel writing on the shelf for a year or two until I adjusted to a more intensive schedule, and see if and when God asked me to take it back down.

As it turned out, all my weenie worrying was for nothing. In less than a month I was offered a dream job. I will be writing (yes, writing!) for a wonderful Christian humanitarian organization called Operation Blessing International.  I have no doubt this job will be enjoyable and fulfilling and that I won’t be entering the “rat race.” In fact, I’m really excited about it. Beyond that, it’s not actually a full-time job. It’s a solid twenty-five hour a week job that will still meet our financial needs. AND…the hours are flexible and I’m allowed to work remotely, so I can be there for my teenager who’s still at home when he needs me. Perhaps best of all, at twenty-five hours a week, I don’t think novel writing will have to stay on the shelf nearly as long as I imagined it might.

So being valiant, facing my fears, and fighting this battle turned out to be a great thing. I feel incredibly blessed that God has seen fit to allow me this new opportunity. But don’t worry, Courageous (Valiant Hearts book 3) is all finished and ready to release in July, and I’ll also have a novella in the Inky's Austen in Austin Volume 2 releasing in September. After that, my writing career is in God’s very capable hands.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, I can be difficult to put God first. I struggle many times. Congrats on your new job! Enjoy.

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  2. New jobs are so tough! It's not just learning the day-to-day work, but learning the ways of the bosses and co-workers! But I'm thrilled for this opportunity and I'm sure you'll settle in well and do a great job!
    God bless your new 'new' normal!

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  3. I'm so excited for you, Dina! This will be a time of challenge and transition, but I'm excited to see where God leads you. Blessings as you begin on Monday!

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  4. Sounds like the perfect fit. Congratulations! :D

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  5. Praise God for his blessings. So happy for you and encouraged by the smart people who hired you.

    In this post, I really liked the way you used your novels to explain your hunt for work.

    By the way... my 25yo daughter read Dauntless and absolutely loved it. She has such good taste. :)

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    1. Thanks, Anita. I'm so glad she enjoyed it :)

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  6. Thanks, ladies. I appreciate all of your encouragement.

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