Ask for Help
Jan 1, 2023 | by The Fellowship
My wife is always keen to point out that “If you really want to make God laugh, just tell Him you have a plan.” Well, I had a plan for my career. It included finishing well with my company where I led customer service teams and eventually consulting my way into retirement. That all came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit. In February 2020, after 17 years with the company, I was let go as part of a restructuring.
It felt like my world was collapsing around me! Everything I had known for years was suddenly not there! Seventeen years is a long time and I had held several senior positions across the company. I even won a promotional opportunity that moved my family from NH to TX. I was this job -- and that was now gone. My personal identity completely changed.
My mind and body put me through grief stages pretty quickly. At first, all I really cared about was maximizing my severance, limiting any legal roadblocks to finding employment in similar markets, and making sure all the projects I was working on got completed.
Then I crashed! Anger was percolating along with real sadness for the loss. I found myself wandering aimlessly through the days, examining self-worth and trying to take stock of what I have to offer.
Friends and colleagues from all stages of my career contacted me to express both shock and concern. I started to realize quickly that I was not going to be able to sit around for long. A former commercial from Mattress Mack surfaced in my head: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” So, I got motivated to improve my situation and protect my family.
I polished my credentials and started to pound the digital pavement at least 40 hours a week. Additionally, I focused on three things: achieving a professional certification I knew would help, expanding my influence by getting a board of advisors’ seat with a small company, and starting a consulting venture on my own.
The process was not pretty. Though I had interviews for some really great opportunities, nothing was happening. It was then the realization hit that I had to get my heart in the right place, surrendering everything to God and asking for His help! So many of our friends, family, and Fellowship church family were supporting me with prayer, asking what they could do, and reminding me that God has a plan for me.
My daughter, quick to notice when I was having a particularly tough day, would remind me: “You are not in control. That is God’s job. You must have faith!” So I reminded myself of James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
I may not have known what was next for me, but God did. In March 2021, I won my first consulting contract and began an 18-month journey with a large specialty chemicals company on a global project. It was contract work, but all I had to do was expedite a transformation in ways I have done before. Four times the company extended my contract.
Then four months ago, I was contacted by a recruiter about a position to lead and grow technical customer services for a private equity company. The job was fully remote, about 25% travel, reporting directly to the CEO and having a seat at the top management table. God showed His amazing sovereignty when what was initially a director level position turned into an offer as Vice President of Global Services. I just started with the new company this month!
Despite the anger, sadness, and depression that came from the job loss, I knew I had much value to offer a company. But much more important was surrendering the situation to God! I looked around and saw folks in similar circumstances who prayed hard while they worked hard. Prayer was the key! The outcome was all because of His mighty hand! God is good all the time!
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love ….