In Praying for an Interview, I Gain More Than Just a Job
By Jiejing, Japan
I’d long heard that Japan was a really good country to go to. After I arrived in Japan in April 2015 and saw that things were pretty good there and that the people were also very polite and amiable, I wished I could find a job and settle down in Japan even more.
But then I heard someone I knew who already worked in Japan say that it was very hard for foreigners to find work there, and that it becomes much easier if one can get qualified as a real estate broker. Therefore, after graduating from my language college, I unhesitatingly chose to major in an economics degree which prioritized employment and professional qualifications, and I took qualifying to be a real estate broker as my specialized objective. After a period of hard study, I finally passed the exam.
So as to improve my chances of employment, besides obtaining my real estate license, I took exams to obtain many other licenses, and my resume became much more fleshed out. Looking at my resume, I thought to myself, “Never mind real estate companies, when other kinds of businesses see all the certificates I have, they’ll employ me for sure.” It felt wonderful to think this.
Filled with confidence, I sent my resume off to a few companies in application for jobs, but to my surprise, all I received was one rejection letter after another. I was stunned, and I thought: “But I have so many certificates, I can speak Chinese, and I can help translate for foreign business. Don’t real estate companies need people who are qualified to be real estate brokers? How come they won’t even give me a chance to interview?” I felt so dispirited and I felt as though I’d already worked so hard to earn all these certificates. If I couldn’t find a job with all these qualifications, then what other channel could possibly be open to me? I felt as though someone had poured a pail of cold water over me, and all the enthusiasm I’d previously felt had cooled significantly. I gradually lost all confidence that I would be able to find a job.
Without me realizing it, the best time to get a job had slipped by unnoticed, and many companies were no longer employing, while companies that needed foreigners were even fewer. I refused to let my hard work go to waste, however, and so I went and asked my teachers in private whether or not there were any companies employing foreigners, but I ended up feeling very disappointed. I very soon saw that, besides myself and another foreign student, everyone else in our class had found jobs. I began to fret even more, and I couldn’t help but worry about my future: “Will I be able to find a job at all if this carries on? Will I be able to stay in Japan?”
I spent the next two weeks sending out my resume, but nothing happened. I felt so dejected and troubled by this state of affairs, and I thought to myself: “What will I do if I can’t find a job at all?” The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became. I hurriedly went before God to pray, asking God to calm my anxious heart and lead me through this predicament. The next day, I went to meet one of my church sisters and I told her all about my search for a job. After listening to me, she read me a passage of God’s words: “Some people choose a good major in college and end up finding a satisfactory job after graduation, making a triumphant first stride in the journey of their lives. Some people learn and master many different skills and yet never find a job that suits them or never find their position, much less have a career; at the outset of their life journey, they find themselves thwarted at every turn, beset by troubles, their prospects dismal and their lives uncertain. … There will always be some distance between one’s dreams and the realities that one must confront; things are never as one would like them to be, and faced with such realities, people can never achieve satisfaction or contentment. Some people will go to any length imaginable, will put forth great efforts and make great sacrifices for the sake of their livelihoods and future, in an attempt to change their own fate. But in the end, even if they can realize their dreams and desires by means of their own hard work, they can never change their fates, and no matter how doggedly they try, they can never exceed what destiny has allotted them. Regardless of differences in ability, intelligence, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which does not distinguish between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
The sister then gave fellowship, and said, “As human beings, our fates and futures are governed and arranged by God, and what kind of jobs we have and when we are able to find a job in life was all predestined long ago by God; it is simply not determined by how hard we work or by any other factor that exists in the outside world. Take a look at the people around us, for example. Some study hard and obtain all manner of graduation certificates, and they even go study abroad, and yet after graduation they remain unemployed living at home, and they don’t find a suitable job. Some people, on the other hand, achieve pretty average grades in their studies and are not highly educated, but because they possess some special skill they go on to find a good job, and some even start their own businesses and become their own bosses. We can therefore see that God rules over and arranges our fates and futures, and they are not up to us at all. We don’t recognize God’s sovereignty, however, and so even though we may believe in God, we still don’t pray or rely on God sincerely, and we don’t entrust God with the matter of finding a job nor do we submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. Instead, we believe that we have many qualifications and certificates, and that we can speak Chinese and translate foreign languages, and so we think that our own minds and calibers will be enough for us to find a good job—are we not rebelling against God by doing this? When, in our search for a job, we hit a brick wall or encounter a setback, we don’t seek God’s will, but instead we become negative and disappointed, we live in a state of distress, and the longer we follow this path, the more lost we become. Actually, it is also God who permits this kind of situation to befall us, and His good intentions are even more present therein. God uses these setbacks and failures to urge us to reflect on and know ourselves, to experience and recognize God’s sovereignty in such situations, to learn to rely on God in all things, and to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Therefore, as we search for a job, we have to pray and rely on God more often, seek God’s guidance, and trust that everything God arranges for us is always what is most right for us, and that all we have to do is undergo it calmly.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I understood that the kind of job we end up getting is predestined by God. I, however, had not recognized God’s sovereignty, but instead had always believed that, because I could speak both Chinese and a little Japanese, and because I had so many qualifications and certificates, finding a job would therefore be easy. But in the end, I had tried for so long and yet had not even been given the chance to interview. When I hit a brick wall and suffered a setback, I began to live in a state of dejection, and this pain had been caused solely by the fact that I did not recognize the sovereignty of God. Once I’d understood these things, my heart felt much more liberated.
Later, I read another passage of God’s words: “People spend most of their time living in a state of unconsciousness. They do not know whether they should rely on God or on themselves. They then tend to choose to rely on themselves and the beneficial conditions and environments around them, as well as on any people, events, and things that are to their advantage. This is what people are best at. What they are worst at is relying on God and looking up to Him, because they feel that doing so is too much of a bother. They feel that looking up to God is invisible and untouchable; that doing so is vague and unrealistic. Thus, in this aspect of their lessons, people perform the worst, and their entry to it is the shallowest. If you do not learn how to look up to and rely on God, you will never see God work in you, guide you, or enlighten you. If you cannot see these things, then questions such as ‘whether God exists and whether He guides everything in the life of mankind’ will, in the depths of your heart, end with a question mark rather than a period or exclamation mark. ‘Does God guide everything in the life of mankind?’ ‘Does God observe the depths of man’s heart?’ For what reason do you make these into questions? If you do not truly rely on or look up to God, you will not be able to give rise to genuine faith in Him. If you cannot give rise to genuine faith in Him, then for you, those question marks will forever be there, accompanying everything God does, and there will be no periods” (“Believers First Need to See Through the Evil Trends of the World”). As I contemplated God’s words, I saw that, though I believed in God, I had not paid any heed to relying on God or looking to God in all things, nor to practically experiencing God’s work. Instead, I had relied on my own mind and caliber in my actions, which had led to me having no true appreciation for or understanding of God’s sovereignty, and I realized that my faith in God had been only skin deep, and not real. As I came to this understanding, I realized that God permitting this situation to befall me did indeed have His good intentions behind it. God was using this adverse situation to make me come back before Him to reflect on and know myself, to make me learn to rely on and look to God, to experience His work in this current situation and recognize His sovereignty, thereby gaining true faith in God. Once I’d understood God’s will, I became filled with gratitude toward Him. I became willing to entrust God with my job search and look to Him in this matter, and whether I would be able to find a job or not, I was willing to submit to His orchestrations and arrangements.
The next day, I began searching for jobs online just like I always did, and I happened to come across a real estate company currently employing foreign students. What’s more, the location of the company was in central Tokyo, there were fixed holidays, and basically no overtime was required. If I could get this job, I’d be able to both work and attend church gatherings—the job was perfect for me. I thought to myself: “Could it be that God has prepared this job for me? In any case, I’ll apply for it and then see.” And so, I sent this company my resume and, to my surprise, within minutes they had called me to arrange a time to hold an interview. After the call ended, I just kept thanking God, and I saw that when I entrusted God with my job search and became willing to rely on God and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements, God did indeed open up a path for me.
Besides my excitement, however, I once again began to feel anxious. Because I’d always been an introvert, ever since I was a kid, I’d never been good at talking to people, and conversation had never been my strong suit. Previously, whenever I’d had an interview, I would always draw up a list of topics that I may be asked about and then commit them to memory, and I would only be able to face the interview calmly when I had fully prepared for it. Despite this, because of my lack of confidence and my nerves, whenever I got into the interview, I would always immediately forget everything I had memorized. This interview had come out of the blue and I had not made any preparations at all—what was I to do? Just then, I realized that I was living in a state of worry and anxiety, and so I hurriedly went before God to pray and to seek His guidance, and these words of God came to mind: “[People] do not live alone in this world. Mankind has God’s care; God is with them. They can always lean on God, and He is family to every one of His followers. With God to lean on, mankind will no longer be lonely or helpless” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). “Yes,” I thought. “God rules and administers all things, and He guides our lives every day. God is our staunch backup and support. Though I’ll be attending this interview alone, God will be with me, and with God guiding me, what is there to worry about? As long as I sincerely rely on God, then God will guide and lead me upon the road ahead.” I then thought of the story in the Bible of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. When God called upon Moses, although Moses professed to being slow of speech and that he was no good at speaking, he didn’t worry about it or become fearful, for he knew that all things were in God’s hands and that God would guide and lead him. And so, he confidently accepted God’s commission, and relying on God, he led the Israelites out of Egypt without a hitch. Thinking this, strength and confidence suddenly entered my heart, and I thought: “God is my backup and my support, and I must rely on God and rely on my faith to experience, recognize and submit to God’s sovereignty.”
Before the interview, I constantly prayed to God, asking Him to guide me and lead me onward. Thanks to God, when the interview began, I didn’t feel too nervous, and I conversed well with the interviewer. The interviewer told me that very day that I had passed, and we arranged a time for the second interview.
On my way home, I sang a hymn in praise of God and I felt so elated. I saw from this experience that when I sincerely relied on and looked to God, God used His words to guide me and lead me, and He enabled me to truly feel that God was right there beside me; there was nothing vague about God when I leaned on Him, and my faith in God increased.
The interviews were carried out in stages, and after I’d passed the second interview, I was immediately invited to a third interview. This time, the interviewers were two department managers, and when I saw the seniority of the interviewers get higher each time, I couldn’t help but start to feel anxious again, and I thought: “The interviewers this time are two department managers and they will certainly have very strict requirements. If I don’t perform well, then they could take me out of the running with a word, and then I’d be back where I started. Although I can rely on God, at the end of the day my Japanese isn’t very fluent, so would they even hire me to work for their company anyway?” The more I thought about it, the more my confidence dropped, and the more I felt that I was sure to fail at the interview.
When the day of the interview came around, I became increasingly anxious and I couldn’t stay calm at all. I realized that my state was wrong, and so I hurriedly sent a message to my church sister telling her of my difficulty. She then sent me a passage of God’s words: “God is man’s only Lord, God is the only Master of human fate, and so it is impossible for man to dictate his own fate, impossible for him to step outside of it. No matter how great one’s abilities, one cannot influence—much less orchestrate, arrange, control, or change—the fates of others. Only God Himself, the unique, dictates all things for man, for only He possesses the unique authority that holds sovereignty over human fate, and so only the Creator is man’s unique Master” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). The sister gave fellowship, saying, “God is the Creator and He is the one and only Master of human fate. So no matter how capable someone is, or how powerful or how high their status, they can never surpass God’s sovereignty, much less change anyone else’s fate. Actually, whether or not we can pass an interview does not rest with the interviewer, but is down to God. And yet we are constrained and fettered by those with power and status, and we regard the decisions of these people to be the highest authority. From this, we can see that we have no place for God in our hearts and that is the only reason for our worry and our fear. Sister, we must believe that God is the Creator and that all things are within His hands. Today, we will experience God’s work, and whatever happens, we should obey God’s sovereignty.”
Through reading God’s words and listening to the sister’s fellowship, I no longer felt as worried or fearful, and I saw that the reason why I lost confidence so easily was solely because I had no place for God in my heart. At the same time, I also came to understand that God is the One who rules my fate, and whether I would be chosen for the post or not was up to God, and that it was not something that any person could decide. I understood that I must trust in God and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. Thinking this, I instantly felt an unparalleled sense of relief and ease come over me, and the tension that had been creeping into my shoulders suddenly drained away.
After I’d once again rectified my mental state, I was able to attend the interview with a sense of calm. During the interview, I still came across questions I didn’t understand and there were times when I couldn’t express myself fluently in Japanese, but I kept in mind that whether I would pass the interview or not was in God’s hands, and that all I had to do was do my best. I felt at that time as though I had a path to follow, and I no longer felt lost or nervous. A few days later, I received an email from the company saying that I had passed the third interview and notifying me that I would be interviewing next with the head of the company. I was ecstatic and felt confident in facing the interview.
Next came the interview with the head of the company. I still felt a little nervous, but through my experiences of the past few interviews, I had already come to understand that God was by my side, leading me forward. And so, I said a prayer to God: “O God! You know that I am not very skilled at expressing myself and that I lack insight and courage. I ask You for the faith and strength that will allow me to experience Your work and words amidst all manner of people, events, things and situations. I wish to entrust everything into Your hands….” After I prayed, I began to gradually calm down. I felt comfortable throughout the entire interview, and I felt a sense of liberation in both mind and body. What surprised me was that, only a few minutes after the interview concluded, the manager of the HR department handed me an internal notice and said that I’d gotten the job, and also that I would be on a higher salary than other people. I knew this was God’s grace. Thanks be to God!
As I think back to when I began looking for a job all the way up till now, I have truly come to appreciate that relying on and looking to God in all things is so important. During this experience of searching for employment, I not only got a good job, but the even greater harvest was that I gained some true understanding of God’s sovereignty and my faith in God increased. If I didn’t pray and rely on God or practically experienced God’s work, but only relied on my own mind and caliber, or various certificates, then even if I found a job, I wouldn’t have experienced God’s words, and wouldn’t have known God’s sovereignty and then that would be a tremendous loss. In the future, I will practice relying on and looking to God in everything, and experience more of God’s words. Thank God!