Last week I talked to three good friends who are currently looking for a new job in ministry and were reaching out for help. It took me back to a dark place where I was 6 years ago. I knew I needed to get out of the situation I was in, but I had a new baby, a new home and lacked clear vision of what was next for me professionally. At that point I had not looked for a job since college and every new job had come to me. I felt lost, confused and honestly was lacking self-confidence while trying to sell myself to churches and organizations. It was challenging and difficult, but as I look back I'm so grateful for how God moved through that season leading me to my current ministry position at Community Bible Church.
Looking for a job in ministry looks very different than it did 12 years ago and even 6 years ago. Here is what I shared with my friends and what I would do if I were looking for a new job in ministry:
1) Reach out to Vanderbloemen Search Group. They're simply the best and so deeply connected to so many churches in need of great leaders. They can also help you in various ways prepare for your transition.
2) Setup your Online Presence. Make sure you are setup well on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and check what pulls up on Google when you search your name. Don't just search your name, but search Pastor and your name and Ministry and your name. If you don't have a blog, I highly encourage you giving it a try blogging about once a week. This platform will allow churches checking you out better understand you, your gifts and passions, and your unique calling. You can have a website and blog setup on Squarespace in about 15 minutes for $10/month.
3) Make a List. This was a recommendation I was given 6 years ago to make a list of the 100 most influential people I know and then begin reaching out to each of them one at a time seeking advice for your next steps. Call these individuals, setup lunches and coffees, and just connect with them in the most personal way that you can.
4) Read 48 Days to the Work You Love. This is a quick read and a blueprint for you to follow next. There's not a book I've given away more copies of than this. It will help you to think differently, better define your calling and steps to pursue the right fit for you.
5) Hustle, Pray and Dig. Moving forward look for every opportunity that might be out there until God closes doors. Pray for clarity and direction. Dig into what God might be teaching you in this transition. It's so often in the valley that God speaks the loudest into our lives if we're willing to listen. Don't miss what God might be speaking into your life.
What about a resume? Yeah, I guess that's important. I think it's way overrated though. What is said about your online and what others say about you is going to speak much louder than what you say about yourself. As I look at the last 12 people that I've hired I doubt that I've spent more than 5 minutes looking at their resume, but spent hours looking at everything about them online and talking to others who know them.
If you're in transition and there is anything I can do for you please don't hesitate to reach out. I pray this advice is helpful to you as you might be going through a season of transition.