What constitutes the right job?

If career is an integral part of a tentmaker’s life and witness, and not just a “passport” to get to the field or a “platform” for ministry, then getting the right job is important. But what constitutes the right job? How do you find that job overseas?

The right job is one where your core competence, passion and personality align with your role and responsibilities as well as the vision and culture of the company. That is ideal, whether at home or abroad. Realistically, you need to at least have the skill set and background to handle the work and grow on the job.

More fundamentally, the right job must be understood in light of our God-given vocation. The Lausanne Covenant[1] states that the holistic Gospel is not just about saving souls, it is redeeming all of life. We declare God’s glory and bring the presence of the Kingdom to peoples and nations through our vocations, contributing to the development and welfare of people and communities. GoLiveServe (GLS) field associates are in business, education, health service, technology, social entrepreneurship and the non-profit sector that touch the intellectual, physical, economic and social aspects of life. So the “right job” has everything to do with calling. It is not just about the right fit.

Do GLS associates have perfect jobs? By no means! They deal with job issues like we do at home, and more, when you add cross-cultural challenges to the mix. At times, job or career change is necessary on the field too. But with a sense of calling, their careers, like the rest of their lives, are on the altar for strategic deployment. The “right job” is the job that is “right by God”. It is all part of a faith journey.

How do you find the right job overseas?

With this perspective in mind, how do you get a job overseas? Similar strategies that one uses in job search at home apply: (1) Build your profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, VisualCV, etc., and prepare an effective resume. (2) Connect with your friends and friends of friends. (3) Use job search tools if you wish, and work with recruiters. (4) Research potential employers and target your resume and cover letter accordingly. (5) Finally, interview and negotiate the offer as you would any job back home.

Do not jump at any job that will take you overseas. You are looking for a real job and a possible long-term career. The position has to be viable in terms of both work and ministry. Be prayerful and professional about it. Also, be prepared for a significant pay cut due to standard of living adjustments, and expect a different work culture even in multinational companies. 

About half of GLS associates found their own jobs and came to us for cultural orientation, support and accountability; others, we assisted in their placement by providing career counsel as well as referrals to employers, headhunters and fellow professionals of like mind on the field.

With Career as Missions, there is a spectrum of orientations. Some people are passionate about what they have been trained to do. Others are happy to do anything they are qualified for as long as they can support themselves and have a witness among the unreached. On the following pages are stories of how associates of different orientations found their jobs and express their faith through them.  All the stories point to the one most important principle in Career as Missions: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way—His will, His way.”