The Waiting Room
An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end. Proverbs 20:21
“Patience is not my virtue,” this is something that I jokingly (but truthfully) say from time to time. So, you can imagine my frustration and (at times) anger when what I prayed for in 2015 didn’t fully come to fruition until 2018…and the end of the year, at that (Oct. 2018).
After working for an organization for two years (which felt more like 5 years in “nonprofit years”), I felt I had built a solid foundation of skills and experience to move to the next step in my professional journey. I was ready for new challenges and a new environment.
To be clear, I wasn’t leaving because the going got tough. If that were the case, I would’ve left when my boss (and mentor) left the organization after I had only been on the job full-time for about three months. This left me and one other person in the Development (i.e. fundraising) and Marketing department. This also left me being the only person from our organization working on a 500-attendee fundraising dinner in collaboration with the NCAA. This had to be the most trying time of my career AND it was my very first job after college. I had to learn how to roll with the punches and fake-it-until-I-made-it very early in my career.
My decision came a year and a half after this challenging experience. I did what wasn’t expected of many millennials—I stuck it out. After rinse-washing-and-repeating for two years, I was ready to make the transition to a new company and new industry. So, I prayed about it and began submitting my resume and cover letter.
Let me not make light of this process. This meant, I was searching for good career opportunities (and not just any old “job”) and then once I found something I liked, I updated my resume AND cover letter to fit the qualifications of the position AND the organization I was applying for. Because I was serious about this process, I, even, paid to upgrade to a premium LinkedIn account to get the benefits associated with it when applying for opportunities posted on the site. This was not a drill and I was playing no games.
I remember getting so excited when I started receiving emails requesting to schedule phone interviews. I just knew, “this is my season!” Phone interviews would lead to an in-person interview, which would lead to a second interview with another member of the team, which would sometimes lead to a third interview…and then the inevitable would happen. Just when I thought the email or call was to offer me the job, it would actually be to tell me they decided to hire internally or went with another candidate. Each time, I would be devastated. After interview after interview and rejection after rejection, I would eventually stop applying and have a mentality of feeling “stuck.”
In the meantime, I would have a new boss, whose way of management I’d have to learn to adjust to. All while maintaining this negative and defeated mentality. I would eventually get my mojo back and would soon start the job search all over again.
Long story short, history would end up repeating itself. This time, I was no longer disappointed. I was angry. Here, I was thinking I had God’s favor. I mean, he was blessing me to get interviews with great companies for positions (I thought) were perfect for me. I, even, had three interviews with a major airline company and they requested my references…and then they hired internally. I was this close (hovers index finger over thumb) to flight benefits! (Had to share that, so you could truly feel my frustration).
However, being angry, didn’t sit well with me. I’m a pretty optimistic person, so harboring negative feelings is spiritually, mentally, and physically uncomfortable for me. So, I looked for scriptures and sermons about anger and discouragement.
I learned that I needed to change my mindset.
Perhaps, there were still things I needed to “unpack” in my current environment so I wouldn’t take any baggage with me to the new environment. Maybe, it was finally time for me to learn patience. Perhaps, it was time for me to learn not to get mentally wired up when new management came in and completely shifted the focus of the department. I needed to get a little more comfortable with change and transition. I needed to learn to not let difficult personalities get under my skin. There were still some relationships I needed to build and nurture before I received what I had been praying for.
I realized that during this waiting season, I was going to have to challenge myself spiritually, professionally and mentally. So, I stopped whining and began to change my mindset. Instead of harboring resentment for being stuck in this season, I began focusing on what I needed to learn and change in order to grow while in limbo.
I learned to adapt to change and transition. I had been there long enough to go through three different bosses with very different personalities, leadership styles and departmental priorities. This would prepare me for walking into my new position, where the company would start shifting in major ways shortly after I came onboard. Had I not already experienced, this I would have freaked out. But this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo and I wasn’t falling off this bull.
During my waiting season, I gained a mentor who would trust me enough to open her network to me. I would not have had a chance to ask this amazing woman to be my mentor if I left the organization when I decided it was time to go. You know that phrase, it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know. Let’s just say, in this world of business, I finally had a “who.”
But to wrap all of this up, I went from getting rejection after rejection to receiving two offers of employment in the same day. Suddenly, the tables had turned. I was now the one in the position to say yes or no.
What I thought was a delay, was actually preparation.
God is amazing.
I pray you instead of feeling “stuck” in your waiting season, you stop to reflect on why God may be keeping you in that space/situation. Ask yourself, “What do I need to unpack before I move?” I pray you unpack any anger, resentment, issues with confidence, impatience, negative mindset, poverty mindset…unpack it all…Because it can’t come with you in your next season.