The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:45, 46, NKJV)
When a person sacrifices everything to obtain Heaven’s pearl of great price, every aspect of his or her life can be affected. One area of change that will be impacted for most people is in the area of employment. As the world is united in using the papal Gregorian calendar for civil use, worshipping by a different system of time-keeping is challenging. Everyone should seek divine wisdom and guidance for his or her own individual circumstances.
All work experience is value added to your resumé. Seeking work in an area in which you already have skills will give you the advantage in the eyes of any employer.
Any work experience you have had is a valuable factor in your favor. An employer values hands-on work experience and will often be willing to accommodate someone with experience in order to hire him, rather than settle for someone else who must be trained in. Keep an open mind to all possibilities. If you have worked for a salary, you might find that transferring to an hourly position, and then not getting paid for days off, will allow you to have your holy days and retain your current employment.
If you have a current employer for whom you have done exemplary service, he would much rather keep you than have to train in somebody new. Therefore, your efforts at showing him the advantages of retaining you as an employee, is what he would like to see. (See Work & Worship: Getting Time Off for Holy Days for the best way to approach your boss and present your request for getting time off work.) Whatever work you have been doing, if you have been faithful and hardworking, the experience you gained is an advantage that can be used to retain your job.
Marketing your skills as a temporary employee for many different businesses, gives you the opportunity to decline jobs that conflict with your holy days.
If you do lose your job, that work experience (with a good letter of recommendation) can help you find employment in a related field. It is always an advantage to have a work history in a specific field, because you then have something to offer the prospective employer. If you must look for another job, be sure and get as many letters of recommendation as possible. Not just from the business owner, who may not know you that well, but also get letters of recommendation from the manager, supervisor and possibly work mates. These letters are gold in your employability bank.
There are three basic options you can pursue if you have lost your job:
- A different job in the same industry
- A new job in a different industry using similar job skills
- Opportunities in new fields
When looking for a new job, try first to find one that is in your area of experience. For instance, if you have been working as a nurse in a doctor’s office, 8 am to 5 pm, five days a week, the doctor will likely be unable to accommodate your different calendar. You have a number of different options available to you. You could apply for a night shift in a hospital; you could get work doing private duty nursing; you could also get work as a hospice nurse or work in a nursing home or a school.
If you have worked in a bank as a manager for many years, you have marketable skills that would qualify you to handle being a business manager in other businesses as well, such as restaurants, stores, hotels, resorts, etc. Restaurants, hotels and resorts are excellent places to look for employment because of their need to schedule seven days a week. Some restaurants and all hotels and resorts need employees available 24 hours a day.
Regardless of your area of experience, temporary employment is always an option. If there are no full time jobs available, you can offer to work as a substitute at numerous businesses doing the same work. Often, employers are left in the lurch when an employee unexpectedly calls in sick or there are other scheduling difficulties. Letting various employers know that you can work short notice is something you have to offer and which allows you to turn down those days that conflict with your holy days.
Most schoolteachers know that they can substitute in the classroom, but few think of private tutoring as another option. There are commercial businesses that provide tutoring as well as academic help for handicapped children and aid for dementia patients.
A person who has many years on-the-job experience as a skilled carpenter can apply for work in a building supply store. Such stores are typically open into the evening to serve customers who work until 5 pm. With such long hours, they must schedule employees on different shifts. Any businesses whose employees work in shifts are good places to try for work because shift work requires complex scheduling to begin with. Being willing to take the unpopular weekend days, national holidays or evening shifts is something you can offer a prospective employer.
It is very important to expand your thinking to consider many different options and possibilities both with your experience and skill set as well as jobs you have never done before. Sales work is excellent for lunar Sabbath keepers. Many sales people work off of commissions and so would allow you to work your own schedule. Doing sales work in the field of your experience is a natural transition to a new position.
Some companies, such as health insurance, do sales by appointments only. There are other jobs as well, such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry repair, etc. which are done by appointment. Repair work done for a company is done on scheduled home visits. This usually allows sufficient flexibility for lunar Sabbatarians.
Research has found that mid-life career changes can be as stressful as a death in the family or a divorce. It is extremely important to maintain good communication with your family and trust in the divine promises. It is important to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and trust.
The example set by our Saviour taught that there is no shame in good, honest hard work. Before beginning His public ministry, Yahushua worked as a carpenter. He did His work with diligence and skill. He was a workman that never needed to be ashamed.
No job should be rejected as not "prestigious" enough. There is no such thing as being too qualified for good, honest labor.
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, the greatest Biblical scholar of the early church, supported himself by working at a trade, specifically, making tents. If you have lost your job in a profession and all you can find to do is nighttime janitorial work, do it with a willing heart and to the best of your abilities. Pride in education or former position, should not hold anyone back from taking a job that brings in money to support oneself and one’s family.
One able-bodied man of the author’s acquaintance, liked to boast that he could earn $50.00 an hour . . . but he had taken a vow of poverty. He was strong; he was healthy. He could have worked, but he chose not to do so. The problem was he lived off of others! Rather than truly living in poverty, he took advantage of the generosity of his friends. Yahuwah gave work to be a blessing. If one has the ability to work but wants to live in poverty, then be productive and put the money into the advancement of truth!
Remember that there is no shame in a job well-done. It is natural to desire, if not a better job, at least one that is as good as the one you lost over the Sabbath. If Yahuwah chooses to bless you with a better job than you had before, rejoice and praise His holy name. It is far more likely, however, that you will have to take a job for less pay, less convenience and less prestige. Understand that this is simply part of the test, the weight of the cross you must carry!
Others have faced similar upheavals and survived. You can, too. When the Bolshevik Revolution swept through Russia, many people of wealth and education fled to other countries. Men who had been well-respected professors, surgeons and engineers in Russia, had to eke out a living as janitors and taxi drivers. But they did it! And they were thankful to be alive.
Major life changes are never easy, but the Saviour has promised to walk through it with you. Focus on what you do have. Make it a habit to express gratitude for the blessings you receive, and this will help open your eyes to other possibilities you may not have considered before. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, KJV)