6 Ways out of a Deep Career Hole (Christians)

By Greg Silverthorne

At times in one’s career, our actions result in us ending up stuck in a deep hole.   Our diligent efforts yield an unsought outcome.   What’s a Christian worker to do?

Sadly, the ways people response to being stuck in their career are not always guided my common sense or good judgment.  Some keep digging.  Worst, a few – in arrogant denial– do so with a bigger shovel!   Based in my work with the Dare to Work Ministry since December 2009, some wise ways to deal with such situations have became clear.   I offer them today in this work life post.

In 2 simple words, the proper first response for a Christian who’s in a deep hole in their work life:

  • Stop digging!

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  • To elaborate further, I’ll offer six (6) steps on getting unstuck:

1. Accept your situation and immediately cease activity which will make matters worst.   To put it plainly:  Get a grip and ‘drop the shovel’!

2. Reflect on HOW you ended up in a deep hole.   To shift your energies, without understanding how you got stuck, makes you more likely to get restuck again later.   We can often learn more from failure –from a fall– than success!    Again, reflect on how you got in the hole.   A vague or bad plan?   No plan at all?  Poor implementation?   Changing external factors beyond your control?

3. Were EARLY SIGNS of your situation ignored or downplayed?   Deeper holes are the result when people ignore the ‘canary in the coal mine’.

4. Re-evaluate your 1-year & longer term CAREER PLANS.   Then re-assess yourself closely.   Plan revamping, self assessment, & deep soul searching might help you discover the right, hole-avoiding route to take going forward.    A different industry, or a new line of work,  might be needed to assure future victories.

5. Seek God’s guidance.   You have a HIDING PLACE.   Scripture tells us:  “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble“  (Psalm 32:7).

6. Lastly, looking at your Career Plans, commit to write a Career Advancement Action Plan (or Search Action Plan if you’re a job seeker) for the next 12 – 18 months.   It’s not enough to just acknowledge you’re in a hole, toss your shovel, and stop digging.   Plan well (i.e. write an Action Plan) and Pray before you continue your journey to your next victory.

  • Whether you’re a gainfully employed Job Keeper, or a temporarily jobless Job Seeker, knowing how to properly respond when you find yourself  ‘stuck in a deep hole’ is important.   It’s not enough to just stop digging.  Scripture says (Romans 8:37 NIV):

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

You are more than a CONQUEROR!   Be faithfully focused.   That includes soul searching, believing in yourself, obeying God (his word & will), detailed planning, & self assessment – including knowing your top strengths, work preferences, & unique qualities.

In a deep hole?   It isn’t the end of the world!     The 6 steps above will hopefully help you get out of a future valley – so you can continue your trip to the mountaintop.

The best is yet to come!   You have a hiding place.

Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema/Flickr CC

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