How Did I Get Here? 3 Ways to Handle Unexpected Career Paths

by | Mar 2, 2015

My career has taken some interesting twists and turns – some planned and intentional, and others not so much. I’ve had more than one experience when I wondered, how did I get here?

Perhaps you’ve had one of these experiences … The sagging economy robbed me of my job and finding a new situation that aligned with my skills, experience and passions just wasn’t happening quickly enough. So I did the next best thing and took a job I had no experience in because someone saw something in me and, heck, it would pay the bills. Another time, I was in a job I loved, but a financial downturn meant layoffs, and those left behind would have to take on additional responsibilities. My job was severely impacted. I became responsible for things I neither enjoyed, nor did I consider myself especially gifted at.

Perhaps you’ve been through difficult experiences in your career that caused you to wonder, how did I get here? You may have even wondered, “What’s wrong with me?” Maybe you’re going through something right now.

Jesus never said that it would be easy. He did say, “In the world there will be trials and tribulations. Cheer up, I have overcome the world.” Jesus overcame all the troubles of this world so that those things would no longer have power over those people who put their faith in Him.

When you find yourself in a season where you’re asking yourself, “How did I get here?” I recommend the following:

  1. Trust God. You and I are called to trust God with all our hearts, to lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways – in our personal lives and at work – seek His will and He will direct our path. We’re called to let go of our plans and have faith in His.
  2. Keep a good attitude. Honoring God by going through challenges with a good attitude is in itself a wonderful way to be a great witness to others. And when we’re faithful in tough times, God is faithful to not only bring us through, but He also blesses us abundantly.
  3. Take a walk down memory lane. Look back on some of your greatest challenges – the ones you simply had no idea how you could get through. How did God come through for you then? Remembering what He has done for you and for others can give you the hope you need.

When I look back at my most challenging career experiences, I can see how God has used every single one. He’s used them to humble me, to develop me, to give me opportunities to practice patience and endurance, and, most of all, to increase my faith. Perhaps you’ve experienced something similar. He uses those experiences to prepare you and me for such a time as this.

God has a good plan for your life and career. What’s your “for such a time as this?”

Related: What Do I Do When My Job Feels Useless?

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Catherine Gates

Catherine Gates is Executive Director of Women in the Marketplace, a nonprofit marketplace ministry that equips working women to confidently pursue their faith and career for the glory of God. She is also the author of The Confidence Cornerstone: A Woman’s Guide to Fearless Leadership. Learn more at womeninmarketplace.net.