01 October 2011


Finding a job in Singapore has not been easy. Luckily, I know that this is not a process I am going through alone. When I started seriously putting some time into job hunting, I decided to come up with some qualifiers. Qualifiers have worked in other areas in my life, so why not now?

When I was dating, I stopped waiting for Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now and started praying for an honest to goodness husband. I came up with a list of things that were “must haves” – “non-negotiables,” if you will.

Qualifiers included a guy who came with a family that would treat me like their own, someone who would be a good father if we were blessed with kids and someone whose faith was stronger than mine so that I could learn from him and be challenged by him.

I found each of those things in Paul, which is why I agreed to marry him – because I ultimately knew it was right.

I applied the same husband-hunting techniques to my present-day job hunting and came up with three qualifiers. When I knew I was ready to begin looking for work, I prayed over my qualifiers and agreed to be patient until the right job presented itself.

Admittedly, it is a bit difficult for an expat wife to find managerial work in Singapore. Paul reminded me that the only people in management that I know are men. I have somewhere around 35 applications in to all sorts of companies and, until this week, I had not heard from a single company about my credentials.

Saturday I had lunch with a friend who mentioned a position opening up at her place of employment. Not knowing if the position would be ideal, I submitted my qualifications late Sunday evening. Monday morning, the HR department contacted me for more information, which I submitted that evening.

Tuesday morning, I was called in to interview that afternoon. Immediately upon finishing one interview, I was pushed into a second. Two days later I was offered the job. And Thursday night before I went to sleep, I respectfully declined the offer.

Things happened so quickly that I wasn’t sure what to do. No, the job was not my ideal position. Yes, I did see opportunities to grow the position into something more suitable to my strengths. No, I hadn’t had any other offers come through. Yes, it would be great to work with a friend.

Once the offer came through, it was clear that this job was not supposed to be on my career path. I felt badly about declining the offer because I did not want to disappoint those I had met in the process. But I knew what I had to do. Once I hit send on my e-mail declining the offer, I felt an overwhelming sense of nervousness followed by a sense of peace.

The light bulb above my head went off as I realized that I had asked for three specific things and this job only fulfilled 1.5 of the stated qualifications. Why would I have agreed to work in a position that would not provide everything I asked for? And why would I beat myself up about declining an offer that did not meet my own qualifications?

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to have someone contact me, ask me to interview and offer me a position. After months of hearing nothing, it was great to know that someone out there wanted me, even if the position was not right.

I thank God for the opportunity to feel wanted and for the wisdom to know when to walk away – not to mention the peace to know it was OK to walk away. I received four more e-mails this week and I know that the right position is out there somewhere and that God will bless that job when it appears. 

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