Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Job searching is never easy. Oftentimes we can find ourselves discouraged and drained from the strenuous searching, resume and cover letter building, and the interviewing process. We feel great about a potential job opportunity, only to end up not being offered it because of an internal hire or a more experienced candidate.
However, we can end up on the other side of the road, finding ourselves with multiple job offers on the table. When that happens, it becomes even harder to discern which opportunity to accept and what next steps need to be taken. If this is the case for you, I want to encourage you right away that you don’t always need to accept the job that pays the best. Trust me, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In some cases, yes, take the job. But there is much more to evaluate and process than the job description and salary offered.
So, as a Christian navigating the sport industry and trying to discern where the Lord is leading next, what are the things I should consider?
1. Church & Community
Before accepting a job, you should (without a doubt) research local churches and campus ministries. The worst thing you can do is accept a job, move to a new town, and not get plugged into a theologically sound Christian community. Do your research during the job search! Find a church or ministry to commit to and do life with. Create some accountability with other believers in the area (maybe even on your campus or within your organization). Commit to joining a bible study or serving locally. Whatever job you take, Christian community is a MUST! Even if it’s the best job in the world but has zero bible-teaching churches in the city, I’d highly consider turning down the offer. As you put down roots in a new area, make sure you plant near a healthy stream of water (Christian community) like Jeremiah writes in chapter 17.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
2. Hobbies & Interests
Before accepting a job, make sure the campus and community offer things that feed your hobbies and interests. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, don’t take a job in a town that has few outdoor activities. Again, do your research and see what the area offers! One of the biggest causes of burnout in the sport industry is not creating any work-life balance and so it’s vitally important to pick up activities in the area that you can partake in outside of your work hours. Relax on the beach, eat local cuisine with new friends, join a music club or recreational sports league. Whatever your hobbies and interests are, make sure this new potential job allows for some personal recreation time!
3. Geographical Location
Although third on my list, this is just as important as the first two! Where you live is just as vital as what you do. Our organization is based in Minnesota and trust me if you don’t like cold weather, no dream job will be worth moving to a city that’s cold (really cold…) fifty percent of the year. Maybe you’re the opposite and hate hot weather and a job in Miami or Phoenix may not be a fit for you. You also need to consider where the job falls geographically in relation to your family and other important people in your life. If family or a significant other is a huge priority in your life, having to fly across the country to visit them multiple times a year will not make for a fun career choice. Consider the location and what it offers! How’s the weather? What other places are nearby to visit? Is there a good airport for easy travel? How frequently would I have to travel to visit family and friends? All of these questions are helpful when processing job opportunities!
4. Career & Character
Last but not least, accept a job that is going to help you grow, and I’m not talking about just climbing the ladder in job status. I’m talking about making a job decision based on the opportunities it gives you to expand your knowledge and experience in your career, and also to develop your character as a human being. Believe it or not, there are a lot of jobs out there that will force you to jeopardize your values and integrity and will pinhole you into responsibilities and decisions that don’t benefit your career. During the interview process, ask questions that will help provide clarity on how you’ll be able to grow in your career and character throughout the experience.
Most importantly during your job search, remember that there’s not a “perfect” job out there for you. There will be some opportunities that feel like a perfect fit, but God will lead you to where He wants you at just the right time. He cares deeply about your transformation into His likeness and no matter what opportunity you take, God will use it to grow you as a Christ-follower and to bring himself the utmost glory.
So, as you navigate your career and discern job offers, don’t just look for a good salary and job description to throw on the resume. Prayerfully seek out the Lord’s will and opportunities to build a Christ-centered lifestyle around the job. And then wait on the Lord!