How to apply your faith to your career
By Aysha Bell
GCU Career Services
As a Grand Canyon University alumni, you have a unique perspective that serves as an asset to you as you navigate and pursue your desired career path. Your values-based education allows you to strategically align your faith with the pursuit of ideal employment opportunities.
The scriptures state, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version). What an amazing biblical reference that speaks to so many aspects of our lives, especially our careers! How many times have we heard this scripture quoted from pulpits and in Christian reading material and then sat back waiting for this scriptural promise to ‘materialize’? Unfortunately, results are not achieved by hope alone. It is vital that we become intentional about our future. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)!
So how do we, as educated Christians, align our faith in developing our strategic career plan? There are clear steps to take to ensure we are pursuing a career field that is the best fit and those steps are clearly supported by scripture.
Step One: Have a clear understanding what career is the best fit for you.
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16).
When you do what you love, the money will follow. There is actually some truth to this old adage. Therefore, it is important to spend an ample amount of time examining your interests, strengths, abilities and values to determine which careers correlate best. There are numerous personality and aptitude measurements designed to help you gain a stronger perspective at no charge (click the link at the end of this article for the free GCU Career Compass). Take time to prayerfully consider and thoroughly review the results of every assessment you take. You might learn information about yourself you did not know before.
Step Two: Gain industry expertise through research.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7).
Once you have a clear idea of what career fields are the most ideal fit for you, it is necessary to learn everything you possibly can about that field:
- The day-to-day requirements of the job and qualifications needed to obtain employment.
- Traits individuals in this industry possess and how your knowledge, skills and abilities align with those who have been successful in this field.
- The companies that hire for the type of position you are pursuing.
- Professional associations and interest groups related to your line of work.
Step Three: Developing a strategic marketing plan for YOU.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:7).
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
- Understand the value you can bring to a position. There are specific ways in which value can be measured and demonstrated:
- Relevant degree, education or training obtained.
- Applicable skills and qualifications useful for the industry.
- Related experience gained through employment, internships or volunteerism.
- Accomplishments such as certificates, awards, increased revenue, decreased profit loss.
- Practice interviewing, specifically being able to communicate “fit” to the companies and hiring personalities you have discovered are common to your field.
- Create a strong resume and cover letter and begin applying to positions. Your resume should communicate a strong message of value that makes it very clear why a company should invite you in for an interview and hire you.
- Many positions are found via networking. Utilize the knowledge of the individuals in your sphere of influence as you seek to uncover hidden opportunities.
There is no timeline for how long it will take to successfully navigate through your strategic career path. The challenge is to remain steadfast in the pursuit of your career goals, which can be accomplished through prayer, partnership with supportive family and friends, and commitment to your career.
Remember, GCU Career Services is here for you. Visit our website at gcu.edu/careerservices to utilize any of our online tools to identify your career path, build your resume, research career options or apply to current job postings!