Book Review – The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson

978-1-63146-902-2.jpg

Have you ever been at a point in your life when you asked God “Why is this happening?”

If you’ve been filled with grief over a tragic event and you can’t understand why God would allow such disappointment, Aubrey Sampson understands. Such a point in life she refers to as lament. Lament can happen over a job loss, diagnosis of an illness, death, or a difficulty in a marital relationship. In her new book The Louder Song, she talks about her own journey of lament and weaves it with the lament stories that you might have heard in the Bible (or may not have, given that Christians are so often told to put on a happy face).

Aubrey Sampson is honest in telling her story. She knows that on the journey of grief, you can’t just get a how-to-do-grief book, and go on your merry way. You can’t just fix it neatly for yourself or someone else. You have to go through it. You have to feel the hurt and pass through it. There are no shortcuts for grief. She affirms every Christian who has asked the tough questions – why did this happen? How could God do this to me? Why don’t I have answers? She affirms that you are not a weak Christian for asking the questions and not having answers. Faith and questioning can and should co-exist in times of trials.

If you want a book that’s honest about grief, I highly recommend this book. Sampson is honest with her raw emotions and about her questions of God; I really liked her vulnerability.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

BLOG-NETWORK-BADGE

3 Life Lessons from The Office’s Michael Scott

il_570xn.897703948_pssq

Although it’s been off TV for several years, I’m a huge fan of The Office. There’s no season and no episode of the show I don’t like. If you’re not familiar with it, the main character of the show – played by Steve Carell – is office manager Michael Scott, a man living and working in the city of Scranton, an ordinary town much of America could relate to.

But Michael Scott is quite memorable for so many reasons. If you need a good laugh and you’ve never seen The Office, I highly recommend it. While Carell’s character makes a lot of bad judgment calls that would never, ever fly in a real office setting, it amounts to be great TV comedy. His over-the-top antics, pranks, and personality all combine to make for a situation that could be potentially unbearable at work or maybe laughable, depending on who you are and how your personality is.

But looking at his character, stripping away the silliness and immaturity, there are three big good takeaways to his character. Takeaways that can be applied to your personal life or your professional life. Things about his character that are likable and that we can appreciate – lessons if you will.

Care. Care about others. Care about something.

The Michael Scott character is always caring. Sometimes –  a lot of times – too much. The places in which he displays his care are sometimes misplaced or inappropriate, but at his core, he is a kind, caring person. In his personal life, you can see Michael getting taken advantage of in relationships where he tries to make things work and it’s dysfunctional, or where he gets too serious too soon, but he really has a lot of love to give to someone. In his business life, you can see him pouring so much effort into nourishing relationships with his employees – again, at times crossing lines, but in the end, you can see he wants everyone to feel valued. While not everyone wants to plan a dorky karaoke night (like “The Dundees”), Michael knows that people matter.

Work hard. Be good at what you do.

Michael slacks off a lot – he goofs off, he leaves work for personal errands, and he wastes a lot of time. But, he’s also doing such a good job that his superior – David Wallace – meets with him just for the sole purpose of asking the question “How are you doing such an amazing job?” Despite Michael Scott’s antics, his results speak for themselves – he’s in the spot of leading the number one branch. So, as you go into your new year, ask yourself – do you enjoy what you do? Whatever you’re working hard at, do you like it? Do you want to work at it? If not, why not? And if those aren’t good answers, do you at least see a path for change? There’s dignity in all work, so why not feel pride in doing a good job?

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you are doing. Maybe you’re a housewife, a student, a janitor, a pastor, or a business person. Do you feel a sense of pride in what you do so that you can say you are succeeding, for whatever success would look like in that spot?

Own who you are.

Michael Scott isn’t cool and he knows it. But that’s part of what makes his character so endearing and why I love the show so much. You can see some of the loneliness that he feels of being so unique, some of the sense of isolation that can come with being highly creative, highly unusual, unlike other people. But ultimately, Michael wins. He wins with being successful in his career, with his strong relationships at work, and ultimately, even if you wouldn’t guess it… in love. So own who you are.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All views are the author’s own and content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

How to Save Money on a Job Search

home-office-336377_960_720

When you’re actively searching for a job, you may be anxious to land a new gig, Especially if you’re unemployed, not having a job can create lots of stress – wondering how you’ll pay your rent, house payment, car payment, groceries, or even wondering where you’ll find the money to put gas in the car to get to an interview, or thinking about the cost of new interview clothes.

If you’ve ever been in a long, drawn out job search – one that lasted longer than you anticipated – you may have wondered if you should hire someone to write your resume. These ads for resume writers pop up online and can make you wonder if they’re of any help. Personally, I don’t know anyone (that I’m aware of) who has paid for such a service. However, your circumstances may be different. Maybe you work in a super-competitive industry where it’s common for people to hire someone to write their resumes. Or maybe you’ve been searching for so long that you feel desperate, discouraged, and not sure what to do next. Or, maybe you have a job, and you just want to make sure your resume is up and ready in case you find an opportunity that you might want to take a shot at.

When money is tight, you can save money on a job search. When money is non-existent, saving money is a must. Here are some tried and true techniques you can use, without hiring anyone, to make sure your resume is at its best.

Use Spellcheck

This might seem like a given, but spellcheck is a great help. However, it doesn’t catch everything. It won’t tell you when “theirs” and “there’s” are chosen for the wrong occasions, or when “its” and “it’s” are used in the wrong spots, but there is a lot that spellcheck can catch. Don’t forget to use it.

Pack It With Power

This is probably the most important thing to do when you’re giving your resume a once-over. Ask yourself if your resume has power – the power to show how awesome YOU are. Does it show what sets you apart from other people? Does it show your power in numbers- the number of people you’ve managed, the dollars you’ve saved, or other relevant amounts? Does it show your other achievements – the grants you’ve snagged for the organization, the kudos you’ve received, the recognition you’ve achieved, the people you’ve mentored, the committees you’ve been on? Your resume needs to be packed with power that shows you weren’t just present at each position, but that you were great when you were there.

2017-05-31-10-23-44-900x675.jpg

Print It Out & Sleep On It

When it comes to resumes, I’m old school – I like to print mine off after I give it a once-over. I guarantee you – no matter how often I spellcheck it, proofread it, look it over, change it, revise it – no matter how many times I do this, chances are, if I print it out and sleep on it, I will find something I can make better. It may be something tiny like a comma in a wrong place, or a bullet point that could get better. Or an accomplishment that could be re-worded. I would almost be willing to bet that the same will be true for you (unless you’ve revised your resume very recently). I believe the reason this technique works so well is because sleep recharges the mind, allows us to focus and solve problems subconsciously in our sleep, and lets us take a break from trying to solve the problem at hand. So, when you print out your resume, sleep on it, then come back to it with a pen in hand ready for editing, you too will probably find something that you can change and make stronger.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.

How to Stay Sane During Unemployment

unemployed

If you’ve experienced a job loss, you might have been excited at first to have some time off from the daily grind. But, when the newness wears off, you realize that the effort of finding a new job takes some time. Finding your dream job, or even just your next job, can take more time than you bargained for. And while many well-meaning people will say that “finding a job is a full-time job”, there are only so many new jobs posted every day. There are only so many job applications you can submit each day. Only so many prospective leads you can chase in a week. The more experience you have in your field, the more selective you become with your search. You can’t just sit and stare at your computer all day, waiting for an email from a recruiter. You can’t just wait all day for your cell phone to ring with a phone call from your favorite company. That kind of waiting can be monotonous and never-ending.

During times of unemployment, there are some strategies you can use to help you stay patient. While some of these won’t apply to you, hopefully you will find at least one thing that may work for your unemployment situation. In this economy, it isn’t uncommon for people to lose a job through no fault of their own. So, even if you are gainfully employed today, it isn’t a bad idea to have a back-up plan too.

Going through a job loss can be a blessing in disguise for some people, enabling them to take on things they never otherwise would have done. But many others grieve it as a loss of finances, identity, and the chance to socialize with work friends. Here are some things that might help you in your unemployment, regardless of your position.

Temping

Signing up through a temp service could help you be contacted for opportunities or interviews. Temp agencies are middlemen that are paid for their ability to recruit new people. The benefit of this is that some agencies will allow you to take tests for various skills and see how you place. You can pick up assignments, and if you don’t care for the work, you can end the assignment without burning bridges. Because you’re working for the agency, your payment is from the agency, not the company where you’re working. These agencies often offer short-term assignments to fill the needs left by employees out on vacation or medical leave, so if you only need a week or a month of work, that could be an opportunity. It can also allow you to try a different type of work to see if you like it. If you’ve always done office work and you’d like to try manual labor (or vice versa), you can. If you don’t like it, nothing lost.

Seasonal Jobs

With Christmas coming, some stores will hire help just for the holidays. In the spring, other companies will need help just for tax season. In the summer, still others will need help due to the outdoor nature of their services. Seasonal jobs can be a great way to make some extra money without making a long-term commitment. These gigs are understood to be short-term and for people that just want to make a few extra bucks. Seasonal jobs have not only given me extra money but fun times, great experiences, and even good references for the skills I’ve been able to demonstrate on the job. Your mileage may vary depending on the industry you’re working in and the gig you land.

volunteer-2055015_960_720

Volunteering

If you’re so short on money you can barely afford to put gas in your car, this one won’t apply to you, but if you have enough savings, you may want to consider volunteering during unemployment. Experiencing a job loss can shake up your sense of identity if you tie your worth to what you do. Volunteering can provide you with a positive answer if you’re feeling a major confusion or distress around the question of “What am I going to do this week?” You are more than what you did or do for a living. We all have to remind ourselves that our dignity and our worth do not come from our occupations (or lack thereof). But if you need a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning, think about volunteering for a cause that you think is important. It could give you a sense of purpose, importance, and accomplishment. And, when you land your next interview, it can also give you something interesting to say when you’re asked what you’ve been doing since your last job ended.

Start a Side Hustle

If you’re still waiting on someone to hire you, why not hire yourself? I love the TV show Flea Market Flip. Contestants shop flea markets and pick up items that might otherwise be mistaken for trash. They take their own inspiration, work on the items, and add some updates to these items, to flip the items for a profit. The improvement is often stunning. So, if you have the same kind of ingenuity, why not create your own opportunity for yourself? You may not be crafty or good with a hammer, but perhaps you can create your own opportunity to make money while you’re waiting on a 9-5 gig.

About This Blog: Please feel free to share any information from this site, in part or in full, giving credit to the author and providing a link to this website. Fearless Faith is a blog dedicated to family, faith and frugality. All content is copyright of the author unless otherwise indicated.