His favour is mine (AKA my longest entry to date, but it’s a great testimony)
[Backdated Thursday, 19th January 2006 12:51 AM]
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." – 1 Corinthians 2:9
Confessions of a faithless Christian
I have a confession to make.
For all the books I have read and testimonies I have heard, for all the recycled proclamations I have made about the favour of the Lord, I never really believed that it could happen to me.
It’s great what He’s doing for other people, but they probably really needed it, and I am doing good enough to get by. The Bible says that godliness with contentment is great gain!
I had been struggling for a long time with my career choices. Knowing that God’s eventual call for me is in the mission field, I had no desire to build a career or earn good money. My job was simply a means of livelihood and it felt wrong to demand any satisfaction or payout from my work.
It didn’t help that I was a few years ahead of my peers academically- boys my age would have just ORDed from army to begin university and my girlfriends were still cruising through their second and third years, but I had graduated with a degree in linguistics (which essentially accounted for naught unless you want to be a teacher) and with no work experience, thrusted into the workforce at 21 and expected to know what I want out of life.
My eventful first year saw me in two very different jobs. My first job was as a personal assistant to a young entrepreneurial Managing Director who ran 8 companies (and as many industries). I wrote tenders that won my company government contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars, set up a Export Processing Zone for imported cars, registered a budget hotel, researched and edited my first affidavit for a legal case, learn the fine art of writing meeting minutes and mastered fine dining. My second was as a purchaser for a chain of gift stores where I was a one-(wo)man department and handled suppliers from Spain, UK, Hong Kong, China, Thailand and of course, Singapore. Not to mention getting floor experience at the retail outlets and helping out with sales, marketing, product design and promotional posters.
I had my share of fun and challenges, but both jobs left me tired and dissatisfied because of the measly salary (but what could I expect without any real skills, blah blah blah) and lack of appreciation from my superiors. I also could not see myself progressing any further since I was already at the top of the command chain.
I resigned myself to the fact that I was just not meant for secular work and secretly prayed that God would bless the church with money to hire me as a full-time worker.
I guess what inspired and empowered me was seeing my best friend Jo pursue her dream job working for and at the airport. I prayed for her throughout her job search that God will open the right doors for her. She went through 4 grueling rounds of interviews at CAAS and eventually got a high-paying position!
Although I felt God prompting me to quit my purchasing job, it took much hemming and hawing before I eventually handed in my resignation letter, without having the guarantee of another job. And to the dismay of my mother, who saw it as an act of irresponsibility and insanity.
I spent my next two months preparing and then going for a mission trip to Chiangmai. The trip further convicted me of my call for missions, and yet I also felt that it was not time for me to go yet and that I should spend more time readying myself and saving up.
When I came back, I was caught in a whirlwind of Christmas activities and life only resumed normalcy after the New Year, which was when I sent out some resumes. (Soph can surely remember chiding me for being so passive in my job search!)
My Bloomberg love story
It was a chance meeting with Ann, a last minute decision to meet for supper that would land me my next job. She had gone for an interview at Bloomberg two weeks ago and while it was not her cup of tea, she felt that I was the perfect candidate for the job. I naturally jumped when I heard Bloomberg, although I didn’t think that I would actually qualify.
Just for fun, I sent in my resume through the company website. Imagine my surprise when I received a call in less than an hour telling me there was a recruitment seminar the very next day and asking me if I was interested to go!
Ann was right. I fell in love with the company the moment I walked through the doors- it was the kind of gorgeous modern office you see in magazines or on TV and everyone dressed smart and sharp and looked important.
The recruitment seminar was stressful. It was a 2-and-a-half hour event, with 30-40 interviewees trying to make an impression on the team of 4 recruiters. I felt so ordinary in a sea of people who had impressive (AND related) work experiences and armed with equally impressive academic achievements. The recruiters emphasized on the stringent recruitment process- there were 4 rounds in all and everything would take about 3-4 weeks. I sucked it all in and decided to just be myself and leave the rest to God.
Two days later, I got a call from them. Would I be free to come down for the panel interview, they asked, and I was in a complete state of disbelief. As I replayed my performance at the seminar, I knew that it had to be His favour that made me stand out amongst the candidates.
I went for the panel interview and found out that one of the girls was actually my high school classmate, suffering a bit of a wounded pride from being "judged" by a peer. Once again, I felt that I could have done better, but I was told to wait outside in case they needed to ask me more questions.
Ten minutes later, the girl came out and said there were no questions, but asked me if I was in a hurry, because the Regional Director (i.e. Interview Round Number 3!!!) happened to be in the office and if I could wait, I would be interviewed by her. But because she was in the middle of a conference call, I spent the next hour shadowing (sitting in and observing) staff at work and made friends with a few of them. They even gave me pointers on how to impress the Director!
So by the time Interview Round Number 3 came, I knew that God was in control and if this was His will, it was not so much my performance anymore and that took a load of pressure off me.
I went home and waited another three days before I got a phone call from the Regional Director telling me that I had made it through to the fourth and final round. I was going to be interviewed on the phone by the head of department in New York that very night!
It was all very unreal to me.
I was asked some difficult questions on the phone like why my jobs were all under a year, why I left my last job and what about my previous work experience would prepare me for the position etc. I fumbled a few times but maintained a confident and collected tone on the line. I hung up and committed the outcome of the interview to God.
Well, three days later, I got a call from the HR department of Bloomberg who said I did very well on the phone interview and if I could come down to discuss my contract of employment! How amazing.
I went down today and signed the papers. I cannot divulge the details of my contract, but let’s just say the pay and benefits offered by the company are incredible.
The conclusion of the matter
God is good and praise the Lord!
What I am saying is: if it happened to me, it could happen to you. You just need to trust in Him. God is looking to pour His favour on all who would ask him and dare believe.
And this time, it’s not just a recycled proclamation. ;)