work

Adventures in Faith

So You're Hunting for Your Next Opportunity...Here's My Advice

Lots of times people reach out to me wanting advice or help getting to their next opportunity, usually for work. I then ask them to respond to the following:

1. If you are a Christian, what is God telling you? How is that being confirmed in prayer and in your Scripture reading?

2. What are your advisers / wise counsel / your spouse / the people you trust / saying to you?

3. Have you enlisted a few people close to you to pray for this transition? When I've gone through these transitions, I have cried out as the Psalmist:

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
— Moses in Psalm 90:17 (ESV)

4. What are the top 3 companies you'd like to work for?  

I'm a big fan of aiming for what you want vs what's available. In my experience, what's listed publicly and what's available are often different, and smart companies do what they can to get the right people on the bus.

5. Do you have any restrictions around where you're willing to move, or what seniority level you're after?

6. Is there anyone in my network in particular where an introduction would help? If so, I'll consider how well I know them and if an intro is appropriate.

These details will help me help you! So if you want my help, please let me know your response to these as the best step forward. 

And many blessings in your search, may God grow your faith through it.

Ryan

Adventures in Faith

I'm Not A Self-Made Man

I met up with some New Canaan Society dudes tonight. We talked about making God our focus even in the success in our careers. For a Christian man in business, it's not always clear if we're chasing our own glory or the glory of God.

After a rich conversation, I walked a few blocks to my car. A man sitting at a table outside a pizza shop said "excuse me" as I walked past him. I was inclined to ignore him and keep going but something inside me said I should stop this time.  

He told me that his wife has cancer and was receiving treatment at Hahnemann hospital right next door. He said they were on hard times that they both have bachelors degrees and even health insurance but were homeless and he would love something to eat. Long story short I bought him dinner but more importantly I asked him if I could pray for him. 

As I prayed for healing this man with his head down and his eyes closed seem to really be searching. When I was done, he remarked "that's exactly what I needed." He told me his wife was an atheist but that he's been reading the Bible and now she believes in Jesus and she won't eat a meal without praying. I told him to believe that Jesus Christ could heal his wife. Just as I was getting ready to walk away I noticed his t-shirt:  

image.jpg

At that moment I realized I had stopped more for me than for this man. His shirt gave me the answer to a night of discussion about how to know if we are after the right career in life.  

If I look back on my career and if I, or anyone else that knows me well, can say there's no way I could have done it on my own, that it's just too wild that God must have done it, i believe that's one way I will know I have fulfilled Gods will for my work here on Earth.

Scripture clearly promises an extraordinary life full of the Holy Spirit doing even greater things than Jesus Christ. So, if my life looks ordinary or similar to that of someone who does not believe in Jesus Christ, then something is off. 

I'm not implying this means guaranteed success, in fact, in failure there is as much or more opportunity to see God working in my work. The last thing I want is someone to look at my work and see that I've strived to do the "right" things, the safe things, that I've done it myself, or find any sense I'm a self-made man.

Adventures in Faith

I Just Turned Down a Sweet Job

attachment-54ac5b27e4b0c9d38e22f3bd

Colossians 3:15 -  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

So I had this amazing opportunity presented to me. An international diplomat with a vision to launch this really cool business start-up in Silicon Valley, through a wild set of circumstances/connections was introduced to me. And, low and behold, after a few Skype calls, felt like I was the guy to launch this thing in Silicon Valley, and I had to turn it down.

As the opportunity unfolded, I put a lot of prayer into the decision. And what I heard early on was Colossians 3:15. When I say "heard" what I mean is that I opened my Bible for guidance and when I read it, that verse jumped off the page. Then, it showed up in a devotional. Then, when I talked to a pastor about this big decision, he brought up the same verse without knowing it had already come twice before.

This pastor told me that the word "rule" in that verse, in the original language (Greek  βραβεῖον), it means to umpire or call the shots. He told me that whenever he has a decision with lots of little steps, like an interview process, he let's the verse guide him. And so I took that fact that this verse had popped into my life three times in a row, well, I decided to let God's peace rule in my heart too. 

And so as I take these steps, I let God make the calls, if I get peace about it in prayer, in reading Scripture, through my wife, etc. then I know that I am in God's will, if I do not, I simply backtrack and move in another direction.

That was easy when I had peace about it. Then, something strange happened. A few communications with the parties that were involved left me feeling less at peace. There weren't any huge red flags, by all means, I still wanted to take the job. But, the peace was fading. So, I brought in the big guns, my incredibly discerning wife, to see what kind of peace she had. And, as we reviewed the details, she had great insights, and she too had a fading sense of peace.

There were still a couple of steps to take short of taking the job, and so I decided to take them, and continue to see what happened with this feeling of peace. Within another week, it did not return, and so I reached out to the various parties who were now involved both in Silicon Valley and abroad to withdraw my application. 

The good news is that these guys are also Christians, and I knew they were praying about this whole thing too, so I figured it wouldn't end badly. And, in fact, they were so gracious in their understanding. We agreed that this was the best solution, even if it wasn't predicted or convenient. I resolved to continue to find a way to serve the project and certainly pray for it.

Within 48 hours I realized that the contacts I believed would serve this start-up should still be plugged into it, even without me at the helm. And so I reached out to make those connections. I continued to pray for the project, and then a dear friend of mine, who I had discussed this whole thing with, sent me another candidate for the job. So, I reached out again with a new candidate for the job, someone with arguably a better skill set for the position that I have.

The conversation continues. The team that is in place to launch this enterprise, well, they are Godly men, they're praying too and while we know that I won't work with them in a legal sense, I know that in God's Kingdom we are all co-laborers, and I have a high level of certainty that we will continue to serve each other in our efforts. This is the kind of really sweet relations that can happen even in rejecting a sweet job offer when one is dealing in the Kingdom of God.