Tag Archives: Employment

Employment Issues

Proverbs 14:23

In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

No Work, No Pay

In February 1980 I lost my job. I had been married for just under a year, and my wife was pregnant with our first child. Although my wife was still working, she had part-time work only, and we could not survive without my income.

My first visit to the unemployment benefit office was educational, and I was surprised at the number of people claiming benefits who appeared to have no desire to find employment. Being unemployed was not an option for me, but it took seven weeks of filling out forms and knocking on doors before I managed to find a job as the UK was in recession at this time. Sitting down and talking about finding employment would not have worked. I needed to take action if we were to be able to pay our bills. I needed work.

Low Pay

My new job paid less than half of what I had been earning a few months earlier when I was still serving at sea. I came ashore six months after our wedding because I did not want to be separated from my wife for two-thirds of the year. My new job was somewhat different. I exchanged my navigating officer’s uniform for overalls, and my ship for a van. My days were spent driving around the county delivering motor parts to garages.

Despite the low pay I enjoyed my new job. Instead of the freedom of the high seas, I had the freedom of the countryside. Instead of having a salary transferred directly into my bank account at the end of each month, I received my wages in cash at the end of each week.

Job Satisfaction

photo-9The fact that work is about more than wages is most evident in the face of one of the assistants at our local supermarket. He regularly mans the self-service tills. Customers use the self-service tills because they are supposed to be quicker. Inevitably they are not and there are often problems. When problems occur the assistant manning the tills is frequently on the receiving end of significant abuse. This particular assistant smiles his way through the day, despite the abuse. He told me he enjoys his work. It is a joy to watch him in action…a man who is satisfied with his job, because in all labor there is profit, and profit is more than hard cash.

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Your Name Is More Valuable

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1

Sales

I have had more than a few years of experience in the area of sales. I have, over the years, sold everything from credit card services to funeral pre-arrangements. Right now I sell for Aflac (the company with the Duck), and I hope to have a long relationship.

However, there have been times when I’ve been instructed by sales managers to do whatever it takes to close the deal. At one point one crook of a sales manager (I quit after this) told me, “After all, those people are not your friends.” I said, “Everyone is a potential friend.”

Sales can be a tough way to make a living – it’s actually hard on me right now – but some things are far more valuable than money.

Your Reputation

Some may think this is just a thing I say to gain trust, but it’s the honest-to-God truth. I tell people they can trust me because I have a reputation to protect.

Even though I could make a sale and make some money, what good would it do, in the long run, if word got out that I was untrustworthy? How would that affect my ministry? How would that affect my ability to lead a church, or share the gospel?

Oh, you don’t know how much I would love to open a few new accounts and pay my bills! I don’t want “great riches,” only enough to pay for necessities and a little more, plus enough to lay aside for later. “Tiny riches” would be fine with me!

But all the riches in the world are not worth ruining one’s name, especially when one’s name is associated with the Name above all names, Jesus Christ.

I’d rather have a good name that brings honor to His name than all the gold in the world.


It Takes Diligent Work to Thrive

This is the real world, and I’m going to share a little slice of mine with you.

Right now, as I am writing this, I have a list of business names and phone numbers to call. The purpose of this is to make sure the business is still in existence and to make sure of the current address and name of the owner.  The business that I am now doing requires that I “qualify” businesses before I try to contact them to discuss employee benefits.

In case you didn’t know, I now work with a great company named Aflac. You may know them by the duck.

But, so you don’t get the wrong idea, even though I am an agent with a Fortune 500 company, I’m still an individual business owner – I have to do all the work to survive.

The insurance business is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. The only thing is that one has to always be prospecting for new business, and in my case, I’m always looking for businesses in need of what we offer and are willing to talk about it. Consistent, diligent, measurable and trackable activity is critical to my success.

If I am not diligent in all I do, I can talk about my future in this business all I want, but I’ll have nothing in the end.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. – Proverbs 13:4

Sometimes, in order to do what we feel is important in life, we have to take risks. I chose to take the risk and return to the world of sales in order to have more flexibility in ministry. I also did it because driving a school bus has become too demoralizing, dangerous, and detrimental to my physical and mental health (I can’t risk another shoulder surgery and then have nothing to show for all the work I’ve done through the years).

In this situation, the wisdom of Proverbs is directly applicable to my life. I must be diligent.


Work-Loving Mother

Proverbs 31:10, 18

“Who can find a virtuous woman? … She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”

Don’t Miss Out

People who refuse to work miss out on the joy of being able to step back, admire a job well done, and know that what they have done has contributed to the welfare of their household. They miss out on the satisfaction one feels when as he admires the completed work of his hands. But the “virtuous woman” can see that what she has done is good, and it brings her great pleasure.

How is it that work can be pleasurable? Well, in the case of the woman of Proverbs 31, she knows what she has to work with is good; she is confident in her ability to make a product and close a deal; and she knows that when the day is done her family will benefit. Most importantly, her heart is in the right place, which adds to her level of energy.

Have you ever met a person who loved her work? Even when other people call it a day, he or she is still at it, even until the late hours of the night. That’s probably the reason the “virtuous woman” of this chapter keeps her candle lit long after the sun goes down.

A Rare Worker

A rare woman, especially these days, is one who is creative, an entrepreneur, and loves working for profit. It is even more rare to find one who obviously has a well-respected husband – a man who already provides for her – and yet still decides to contribute financially. A common woman would sit back and rest in the comfort provided, but not this woman. No, she finds joy in work, and that’s why she keeps it up past normal working hours.

Now, some one argue that a woman who does all this is taking away from her family. They would say that a woman should not work outside the home, but should keep the house and take care of the children while the husband earns a living. But what is so great about this woman is that she is able to honor her husband, take care of the house and all its needs, and still find time to create an extra stream of income from being creative with her God-given talents and abilities. She loves to work, but still knows how to put first things first. That’s what makes her exceedingly rare.

How much better off would our societies be if we had more women – even men – like this?


Padded Résumés

Proverbs 25:14

“Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”

Résumés

There are a few things I hate to do in life, such as flossing (but I do it, anyway), hanging blinds, changing diapers, and moving. I also hate writing résumés – about as much as I despise licking a cheese grater.

Résumés (also spelled resumes, but looks like it would sound like re-zooms) are so difficult because of the desire to boast. For those of us who have less to boast about, filling out a résumé can be even more challenging. There is always the temptation to “pad” the résumé with skills not quite developed, like saying you’re a “lion tamer” when all you’ve tamed is your pet cat.

Expectations

The problem with a padded résumé is that while it may get you in the door, it won’t guarantee you can do the job for which you are hired. When employers hire people based on the skills they are supposed to have, the expectation is that the employees use their skills, or “gifts,” when called upon.

Sadly, many people have been let go from high-paying, high-pressure jobs when their “boasting…of a false gift” became evident. Examples include Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, RadioShack CEO Dave Edmondson, and Notre Dame football coach George O’Leary.

No Water

Even more tragic than being found out is the negative effect lying about one’s abilities can have on others. When Solomon compares boasting about a false gift to clouds without rain, we might imagine thirsty people, or hungry people looking at withering crops. How cruel it would be to promise them water but never deliver!

Don’t be a cloud without water. Don’t boast about gifts and abilities you don’t have. Be the best you can be and live up to the expectations others rightfully have of you.


Employment Issues

Proverbs 14:23

In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

No Work, No Pay

In February 1980 I lost my job. I had been married for just under a year, and my wife was pregnant with our first child. Although my wife was still working, she had part-time work only, and we could not survive without my income.

My first visit to the unemployment benefit office was educational, and I was surprised at the number of people claiming benefits who appeared to have no desire to find employment. Being unemployed was not an option for me, but it took seven weeks of filling out forms and knocking on doors before I managed to find a job as the UK was in recession at this time. Sitting down and talking about finding employment would not have worked. I needed to take action if we were to be able to pay our bills. I needed work.

Low Pay

My new job paid less than half of what I had been earning a few months earlier when I was still serving at sea. I came ashore six months after our wedding because I did not want to be separated from my wife for two-thirds of the year. My new job was somewhat different. I exchanged my navigating officer’s uniform for overalls, and my ship for a van. My days were spent driving around the county delivering motor parts to garages.

Despite the low pay I enjoyed my new job. Instead of the freedom of the high seas, I had the freedom of the countryside. Instead of having a salary transferred directly into my bank account at the end of each month, I received my wages in cash at the end of each week.

Job Satisfaction

photo-9The fact that work is about more than wages is most evident in the face of one of the assistants at our local supermarket. He regularly mans the self-service tills. Customers use the self-service tills because they are supposed to be quicker. Inevitably they are not and there are often problems. When problems occur the assistant manning the tills is frequently on the receiving end of significant abuse. This particular assistant smiles his way through the day, despite the abuse. He told me he enjoys his work. It is a joy to watch him in action…a man who is satisfied with his job, because in all labor there is profit, and profit is more than hard cash.


Work-Loving Mother

Proverbs 31:10, 18

“Who can find a virtuous woman? … She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”

Don’t Miss Out

People who refuse to work miss out on the joy of being able to step back, admire a job well done, and know that what they have done has contributed to the welfare of their household. They miss out on the satisfaction one feels when as he admires the completed work of his hands. But the “virtuous woman” can see that what she has done is good, and it brings her great pleasure.

How is it that work can be pleasurable? Well, in the case of the woman of Proverbs 31, she knows what she has to work with is good; she is confident in her ability to make a product and close a deal; and she knows that when the day is done her family will benefit. Most importantly, her heart is in the right place, which adds to her level of energy.

Have you ever met a person who loved her work? Even when other people call it a day, he or she is still at it, even until the late hours of the night. That’s probably the reason the “virtuous woman” of this chapter keeps her candle lit long after the sun goes down.

A Rare Worker

A rare woman, especially these days, is one who is creative, an entrepreneur, and loves working for profit. It is even more rare to find one who obviously has a well-respected husband – a man who already provides for her – and yet still decides to contribute financially. A common woman would sit back and rest in the comfort provided, but not this woman. No, she finds joy in work, and that’s why she keeps it up past normal working hours.

Now, some one argue that a woman who does all this is taking away from her family. They would say that a woman should not work outside the home, but should keep the house and take care of the children while the husband earns a living. But what is so great about this woman is that she is able to honor her husband, take care of the house and all its needs, and still find time to create an extra stream of income from being creative with her God-given talents and abilities. She loves to work, but still knows how to put first things first. That’s what makes her exceedingly rare.

How much better off would our societies be if we had more women – even men – like this?