A NEW FRIEND I met in my networking, Benjamin, suggested that being in transition between jobs is like being a “relief pitcher” in baseball. If you don’t know much about relief pitchers, let me tell you about them. Relief pitchers don’t start the game, they sit away from the rest of the team out in the “bullpen” waiting for a call to come into the game. Usually, they get called into the game when there is a need—or even a crisis of some sort— and are asked to solve it, usually by getting the other team out without any runs scoring. They come into the game well rested and full of energy. Some games, they never get called. In fact, for relief pitchers, it could be many games before they are needed, but they need to be prepared for that call.

He was right; if you’re out of work looking for a new job, you are a “relief pitcher.” You’re waiting for the call and the challenge you face is that you don’t know when, which is the hardest part. So you wait, and wait, and wait. The waiting is hard and gets harder the longer you must wait. As you read this, I imagine you’ve been looking for a job for some time, but you haven’t found one yet. Your life has a different rhythm and you might even be comfortable with that rhythm. But if you get too comfortable, you might not be prepared when the call comes.

In Matthew 24, we are reminded to always be ready, because we know God is coming.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:42- 44).

While being ready for a new job isn’t the same as Christ returning, it’s wise to be ready. A good relief pitcher is ready all the time. Are you ready?

What if someone called today and wanted to interview you over the phone, would you be ready to make a positive impression? If your answer is “yes,” good for you. If not, take the time to prepare for an interview. (See Appendix E for some assistance, or dalekreienkamp.com/resources) What else might you do to prepare for a return to work?

Have you been working at improving your job skills or adding new ones while looking for a job? This is a great opportunity to do so, especially for something like technology. We can all use better technology skills and it changes so quickly. What about your mind? Are you actively reading and learning new things that will help you when you are back “in the game”? If not, get started.

A challenge you face in this process is that there is very little you can control. You don’t control what jobs become open, when they come open or if the hiring manager is interested in you. What you can control is your own preparation. Do what you can do, prepare yourself and be ready for the call and a chance to get back into the game. It will come.

This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them , By author Dale Kreienkamp.

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