Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Candidate

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

-- Luke 10:2

Looking for a new job or testing the job market? Maybe Tony Beshara should be on your short list for advice.

A veteran of the placement and recruitment profession since 1973, Beshara has helped literally thousands of people find employment by matching the right candidates with the right organizations. And in his book Acing the Interview, Beshara writes that employers are on the lookout for experienced, can-do candidates who meet some exacting criteria. Those who fail to impress and excel in some categories face the reality of not making it to the critical second interview.

The first hurdle to overcome is the ability to prove that you can do the job. Beshara advises candidates to be prepared to share stories about how they met challenges and succeeded at other companies. Employers also seek to determine if they like you. Even if you’re well-qualified, you probably won’t get the job if they don’t think you have the right chemistry. They also want to know if you’re a risk. In other words, do you have a record of jumping from job to job every couple of years? And do you have the reputation for being difficult to manage? Finally, you need to be affordable. With the job market filled with talented, well-qualified professionals, employers can eliminate you as a viable candidate if they think your salary demands are unmerited and unreasonable.

Corporations aren’t the only ones with high standards for their team members. Christ-followers are tasked with preparing God’s kingdom and being a bright light in a dark, troubled world. And since it’s such an important job that can yield eternal, life-changing rewards, only certain candidates are considered. First, they must be available on an as-needed basis. (Expect to work some weekends and holidays!) They also need to be obedient and follow the Boss’s (Jesus) instructions – even if they don’t make much sense at the time. Effective Christ-followers also must be humble in their work and share the credit whenever it’s due. Overtime and sacrifice are a given. And to top it off, they need to display plenty of initiative and be on the lookout for opportunities to help their neighbors both next door and miles away.

Is it any wonder that most folks won’t respond to Christ’s help wanted ad? To use the U.S. Navy’s old recruitment slogan, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” Luke’s Gospel records Jesus’s words to His would-be candidates:
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Landing a job is usually difficult – even in vibrant, growing economies. But here’s some good news: Jesus is hiring right now for His organization’s growing staff. And many of His highest-producers had no experience in the field. Sure, the working conditions aren’t always the best. But there are plenty of rewards along the way…and the retirement plan is out of this world.

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