Hard Workin’ Gals: 3 Tips for Finding a Job (Part 3)

Hey girls! I am super excited to share with you 3 Tips for Finding a Job.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what you should be doing. I hope these ideas and some personal stories from my life will be an encouragement to you. Maybe after reading you will have a fresh perspective on how to find work you will thrive in!

Also, if you’ve missed the other parts of this series, find them here:

Part 1: “Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs?”

Part 2: “Hard Workin Gals: How to Find Your Work”

1. Think Creatively

You don’t have to be highly skilled or have years of experience to enter your dream field of work. Sometimes you just have to be willing to stick your neck out. Other times, you have to think outside the box.

I have loved violin ever since I was a toddler. When I was 13, a mother asked me to “assistant teach” her daughters violin. Although I wasn’t really ready for the responsibility of being a solo violin teacher, having these sisters come to my house every week for me to give them input during a practice/teaching session was the perfect way for me to get my feet wet in a job that I knew I wanted to pursue. Within a few years I had my own small business teaching violin students.

Specifically if you are young or very inexperienced in a field you know you want to pursue, think creatively and find ways to learn.

If you are interested in business, take some business courses, intern with a businessperson, or start reading lots of business books.

My brother loved mechanics but didn’t want to got to 4 years of school to learn the trade. He volunteered to help an older and very experienced mechanic friend work on buses many a winter evening. In his spare time, he read mechanic books (getting suggestions from good mechanics, and picking up other titles at Goodwill), and joined online forums to learn from a whole community of mechanics.

Before he was 20, he was offered a job at a large farm implement dealership, which he ended up turning down. He started buying broken four wheelers to fix and resell, and soon his name got out and farmers started asking him to do complicated mechanic work on their farm equipment. He now has a growing business doing what he loves most.

“Never despise small beginnings.”

Apprenticeships can be a great thing. When I was 14 years old, my mother (knowing I had a passion for flowers) encouraged me to meet our neighbor lady, a professional landscaper who had stunning flower gardens. “You should ask her if you can come work in her flower beds in exchange for her giving you some landscaping tips for our flower beds” my mother said. Mostly to honor my mother, I did as she suggested. After an afternoon of working with my neighbor, she came to my house, gave me landscaping suggestions, and proceeded to offer me a job. It was an incredible opportunity, made possible because my mother encouraged me to learn from someone who was a professional in the field I was interested in. I absolutely loved that job, which I held for the next four years. My boss was an incredible person to work for, she was a really good teacher and I basically got a free mini-education in landscaping, while getting paid to do something I loved!

2. Face Your Fears

I am a third born. I have two older siblings that are both really great leaders, and I was always content to follow them. I actually grew up preferring for someone else to be in charge, and to get to come alongside them and join in.

Leadership wasn’t my thing. I didn’t think I was good at it, and I didn’t like it.

It was literally a fear thing for me- being in high responsibility leadership positions made me panic!

I think God has a sense of humor, because four years ago, I exchanged my landscaping job for a completely different kind of work at our small town hotel. When I started the position, it was mostly secretary, advertising, and marketing related work. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know what I was getting into, because I might have been tempted to run in the other direction if I would have realized I would need to become a much more assertive and confident leader as I became responsible for finding, building, and leading a team of employees, troubleshooting problems, planning team meetings, and making countless decisions.

In the end, sometimes we need to face our fears and do the very things we think we are least gifted at. If it’s truly a weakness and something you continue to really not enjoy doing, then it’s probably not a good idea to make it your life work. But be willing to give it a shot, because you just might end up thriving where you thought you’d miserably fail!

Our greatest passions and talents are often formed by doing the very things that scare us the most.

3. Pursue Your Gifts

If you are trying to find the right job, a really good place to start may be just sitting down and making a list of things you enjoy, would like to learn more about, or have dreamed of doing. A few of them may scare you a little (like we talked about above), but really, you should just go out and do them anyways!

While it can actually be a really good experience to do something you don’t particularly enjoy, there is nothing wrong with pursuing a job in a field that really excites you! After you’ve made that list, start brainstorming! It can be a good idea to find a main job/source of income, and then work at developing another one of your passions on the side.

Maybe you love people, and can get a waitressing job that allows you to interact with customers 24/7. If you are an artist, you might work at making that into a small business by selling art or teaching art classes on the side.

If there’s something you would really like to pursue, but isn’t a viable money making venture or job opportunity yet, use your spare time to work on it! Your hobby could possibly be your work down the road! The key here is to be diligent and patient. Don’t quit your job just because there’s a hobby you want to turn into a business. It would be smarter to continue your work while researching and working towards whatever business venture you might want to start. Then, once it is actually a viable, revenue producing proposition, you can decide where to go with it.

Questions? Thoughts? Comment above- I’d love to hear from you!

-Allison

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Why Don’t I Have Enough Time?

Have you every wondered, “Why don’t I have enough time to get it all done?”

Sharing something personal here- I am currently having a major problem getting Scripture memory done every day. I know that it’s not a time problem, it’s a priorities problem. 

Have you every looked up the definition of “priority”? It might shed a little light!

pri·or·i·ty
prīˈôrədē/
noun
  1. the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.
    “the safety of the country takes priority over any other matter”
       a thing that is regarded as more important than another.
      plural noun: priorities
      “housework didn’t figure high on her list of priorities”

We all have the same amount of time. It’s what we do with that time that matters.

So for me, I have not been treating Scripture memory as important. In order to get it done every single day, I am have to start making it a priority over some other things. For me, reading is something I absolutely love to do, but Scripture memory should be regarded in my days as more important than any of the books I’m reading.

I doubt if it’s only me that struggles to prioritize.

Don’t have time to memorize Scripture?

Don’t have time to send an encouraging text?

Not enough time to give someone a Gospel tract?

Running out of time to listen to that little brother’s lonnggg story?

Don’t know how to find time to get your work done?

Guess what? The One who created us is the One who gave us 168 hours in our week. 

Let’s ask Him to help us do that things that are HIS will for us today. He has indeed given us enough time for everything that he wants us to accomplish. He is waiting for us to ask Him for wisdom in the “how” and grace to be willing to realign our hearts with His and have a Kingdom perspective.

What do you struggle to make time for? I’m cheerin’ for you!

much love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: How to Find Your Work (Part 2)

Hey girls! Continuing right along with the topic of young women and their work, I want to talk a little today about how to go about figuring out what work you should do! There are a few things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work.

Is the environment healthy?

This doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean you need to be wise. Working closely as an assistant or secretary to a man (other than father, brother, or husband) could be asking for trouble. (These situations aren’t always disastrous, but they need to be approached cautiously.)

Does the work keep you from serving others?

There is no cut-and-dried formula for how much time young women should devote to various types of work (including her “paid work”, household chores, church/community projects, etc.) There are also seasons (as I have experienced) where your job may demand the majority of your time and energy, leaving little for family and investing in people.

The key is balance, and evaluating your work on a regular basis in light of how things are fleshing out with other priorities in your life.

In this job, can you become more of the woman God created you to be?

God created us and we should seek, as we work, to develop the things He placed deep within our nature.

I love thinking of my work in this way: In the work I am doing, how can I develop the characteristics God has placed within me as a woman- gracious, nurturing, strong, life giving, feminine, creative, gentle, helpful?

There is so much scope for growth of our character within the context of our work. This is exciting!

For me, it’s about more than just putting in the hours and making the money. I want to do my work not only in a way that honors God, but so that I am living out who He created me to be as a woman. Even though one of my particular “jobs” includes extensive leadership of other people, my goal is to nurture those people as individuals, invest in their lives, and encourage them. In marketing and customer service, I get to exercise creativity in strategizing, learning, implementing new methods and ideas, and interacting with customers.

Do you have a stewardship mentality?

It’s about more than earning money, although that’s part of it. It’s a heart attitude of using the resources of time, talent, and energy as good stewards.

Good stewardship doesn’t happen by default. It takes intentionality. The bad steward buried what he had. The good one put a sound mind and creativity to work and got busy multiplying what he’d been given. Which will you be?

 Which one of these stuck out to you the most? 

love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs? (Part 1)

I have heard a number of questions from girls about work and money, and I want to address several in this post.

Some are wondering if Christian girls should even have jobs?

If so, what kinds of jobs should they have?

Should they be spending 100% of their time on household and church work, or is it ok to pursue other work, as well?

Is earning and saving money a bad goal?

Is it Biblical to have a job and save money as a young woman?

To start with, there are  a few fundamental truths about work, money, and women that we need to understand:

#1. Work is created by God, and as women, we should thrive upon hard work and productivity.

There is a problem in our generation of laziness and selfishness. Work is often seen as a bad thing, and many, especially in their youth, do everything they can to spend the bulk of their time on “feel good” entertainment and the least amount of time necessary on work.

On the other hand, when women choose “careers”, it is sometimes with selfish motives. We need to get back to the fundamental practicing of good stewardship.

Work is not a bad thing, but neither is it something we do just for ourselves.

God has given each of us the privilege of stewarding the time and talents He has blessed us with. We can waste them, or use them well.

Read Matthew chapter 25 to see how Jesus feels about our use of what He has given us. He obviously want us to multiply it, not go dig a hole and bury it.

Many girls don’t realize the potential they have. Unmarried young women have incredible amounts of time and talent that should be put to use!

There are hundreds of ways to spend this time, but some girls get stuck without a vision or plan.

Some wonder what they should really be doing. Others just go with the flow and don’t give it a second thought.

Today my goal is to encourage you girls to do this:

THINK BIG.

Don’t sit there saying, “I wish I knew what I’m supposed to be doing.” or “I wish I had more money.” or “I don’t think ___ is ever going to happen for me.”

Get a vision, write down some goals + how you are going to achieve those, and go do it!

If you’re wondering if you should have a source of income or not, and if you should really even have “work” goals, I want to encourage you with this:

#2. Earning income and working hard is not only practical, but Biblical.

The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her virtue, but take a look at her business savvy and income earning, as well.

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard…..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and deliverth girdles unto the merchants.” (Prov. 31: 16+24)  

Here was an ambitious, diligent business woman! She clearly took good care of her family, honored and helped her husband, and had some serious business skills to boot! She was productive, and thrived upon serving others and working hard. 

Being business minded is Biblical, and earning money is, too.

I think God smiles to look down and see girls getting creative about using their time and talents TO THE MAX!

He wants us to delight in working hard.

God is a Creator (look at everything He made!) and He wants us to create with our hands (that He formed), and to figure things our with our brains (that He intricately knit together).

Some of you girls are concerned about finding the right work to do. You may be wondering how your work will fit in with a possible future of being a wife and mother (a high calling) and your current job titles as daughter and sister.

#3. It is entirely possible to work hard + earn money while still loving home + family and embracing our femininity.

There are so many opportunities for work that fit beautifully with home and family. Working hard and even earning money does not mean we quit being the nurturing + feminine women God created us to be. 

Earning an income will not somehow turn a girl into a full blown feminist who will struggle to be content with being “just a mom” someday.

I believe that the struggle with contentment now or then is a heart issue, and an identity problem that needs to be dealt with by finding our security, identity, and fulfillment in Christ.

Finding satisfaction in a job well done and money earned is NOT A BAD THING! 

I would argue that earning money and working hard now is actually one way for girls to prepare for the rigors of motherhood.

It is my opinion that the discipline of learning to earn, save, and budget money, as well as the discipline of keeping a demanding yet balanced schedule will make for a more sturdy, capable woman in the long run.

Whether a girl ends up being a single missionary in Africa, a wife and mother, business owner, or a cook at an orphanage, her younger years spent learning discipline and hard work will be a huge asset later on.

(Disclaimer: There some things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work, and not just every job opportunity is a good choice for young women. I will be exploring different ideas for work/earning money in the next post in this series.)

 I look forward to continuing the discussion, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

-Allison

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Making Your Phone a Servant Instead of Being Its Slave

On my first blog post, one commenter asked me to write about, “Cell phone management-do you have a smart phone?  How to keep texting + social media in check”.

First of all, phones can be excellent tools for life, business, and relationships.

The problem is, sometimes we get all out of whack and become a slave to our phone, instead of the phone being our servant.

When you can’t go without constantly checking your phone, when you think about it OFTEN, when you stay awake at night checking “one more thing”……you just might be in danger of slavery to some DUMB smartphone!

In answer to the particular questions the reader posed:

“Do you have a smart phone?”:

Yes, I do.  I did not have a phone until my late teens, when it became necessary for my job.  I then got a little flip phone, and updated some time after to an older model basic iPhone.  I have my second iPhone now because the first one wore out. The phone I have now was given to me for a fantastic price by a coworker, but if I needed to buy a phone, I would definitely recommend looking for a refurbished, older one online. But that’s just my opinion.:)

“How do you keep texting + social media in check?”

I have used a number of different ideas + disciplines in this area. Here are some favorites:

  • The JESUS FIRST principle.  For me, the single most distracting thing to early morning time with the Lord is a phone. I choose to keep mine on airplane mode most mornings. It isn’t a legalistic rule, and occasionally I need to send a business or personal text immediately when I wake up, but I shoot for not turning my phone on until I have had my time with the Lord.
  • A MEDIA FAST. Basically, the way I do this is enlist a friend (I’ve got a good one who has done this with me several times!) and set a certain time frame for a media fast. (I’ve done it alone, too, but it’s a bonding thing to do with a friend or sibling. We like to practice “replacement” and make a bigger than usual Scripture memory or Bible study goal during our fast.) For me, a media fast usually includes refraining from all non business social media, websites, and email.  It is always so refreshing and I’ve never regretted going a week or more without these things.
  • Keeping PUBLIC TEXTING TO A MINIMUM. This is something my sis and I made a pact about when we got our phones, and we still keep each other accountable in this area. We decided that whenever possible, we would send text messages in private. It really isn’t that hard to step away from a conversation and send a quick response. I do alot of texting with my job, but if I am at a social or family event or hanging out with my siblings, I can easily see if a work text comes in and step out of the room to take care of it before rejoining the group.
  • Having SOCIAL MEDIA FREE DAYS. This is another one that is huge for me. Although I use Instagram for personal and business, I don’t want to be using it every single day!
  • Use VERY FEW NOTIFICATIONS. I really don’t need to know every time I get an email, or someone posts something new. I can check those things when I have time! I choose to have zero notifications other than text and phone calls. For emails and social media, I have to purposely check, and I like it that way.

Do any of ya’ll have tips on how to manage phones? They sure are handy, but we’ve all seen them become monsters, too! I know neither I nor you want that in our lives, so we’ve got to be proactive! 

-Allison

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