Jim, I'm asking for my husband, who lost a job last year at 52 years old, and has taken responsibility for that situation. He has decided to go to school as a medical billing clerk which will take about one year. He doesn't get interviews thru the State job service for jobs which he is obviously qualified so we think to ourselves, "it's age discrimination". How do we know it is right for him to invest in education now? There are fewer jobs in Michigan now. What's your advice? --Kris - Michigan.
Unfortunately, discrimination against individuals because of age is a sin which is committed by many Human Resources departments and it is difficult to prove that it exists. I address this concern in my book A Worker Need Not Be Ashamed in which I have challenged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to go after legislation which would REQUIRE employers to hire individuals based on quotas that are set for ALL age groups through age 90. It is the only away to eliminate this form of discrimination.
It is important that your husband find his mission in life before he moves to locate a job. What is his calling in life? A calling does not just pertain to ministers. God has placed your husband and all other humans on this planet for only one reason: TO SERVE OTHERS regardless of the occupation! He needs to pray about it to seek God's will and he needs to look at his own God given abilities which provide a tremendous clue to any calling. Once the mission has been determined, he needs to locate the job which will drive the mission and then prepare for the mission through training.! BUT, BEFORE taking any training, he needs to determine if the job will be there after the training has been completed. Education representatives and politicians are quick to direct workers into training programs only to discover later that the poor worker still can't get the job afterward. This is especially true of government sponsored programs.
He should contact the Labor Department in Michigan or go to any other source for information concerning future job openings. If his true calling is the medical field and he finds that openings for medical billing clerks do not look promising, he can look at an alternative to fulfill his calling to the medical field. EXAMPLE ONLY: Some workers have elected to become a registered nurse and the future job openings are projected to be extremely high. Above all, tell your husband not to despair because God has a purpose for his life at ANY AGE!
I loved your story in Guideposts. I, too began working with the elderly in a retirement center in March. Then I blew it! There was a very mean resident who embarrassed and humiliated the people who served her. So I decided to write her a note, asking her to be kind to people. I won't go into the details of all that, but I got fired two weeks ago because of that note. Jim, that job meant to much to me. I considered it a gift from the Lord, and now it's gone and I can't believe it. I did a lot of good on that job, but because of one mistake, I'm out of there. Please pray for me. I need direction and encouragement. Dottie - Veneta, Oregon
My minister has a favorite saying: "We don't always get it right." That is certainly not an excuse for not trying to do what is right but sometimes we just mess up!
While working for a company, I became very disturbed about an interaction I had with an employee and I communicated this concern in what was supposed to be a confidential e-mail which I wrote to the employee's manager. The problem is that I was so emotional about the matter, I hurried and accidentally addressed the e-mail to the employee instead of the employee's manager!
This certainly did nothing to enhance relations with the employee (quite the opposite). For a long while, I carried this on my shoulders day after day after day. One day, I finally realized that although the employee would probably never forgive me for this tragic mistake, God had forgiven me so I also had to forgive myself. I had to eliminate any emotional baggage from this case, hold my head high, and move ahead with my career. I also had to learn from my mistake and not repeat the same one again!
This also applies to you. You and I are a significant part of God's plan for humanity and I know He will lead you to your next mission field so you can continue to serve others! Warning: It may be a DIFFERENT mission because sometimes situations occur in our life which enable God to direct us down a different path. Just hold on to Him and He will direct you into your next calling!
BULLETIN: Dottie has informed me that she has been hired in another assisted living facility where she will work with residents in the Altzheimer's/Dementia section. Everyone who reads this page, please pray for Dottie to have great success in her assignment as she serves others!
Since many companies prohibit discussion of religion from management officials, for fear of discrimination suits, how can a Christian supervisor or manager encourage his or her subordinates to pursue the Christian work ethic within the context of a secular business environment? -- LaToya - New York City
There is a profound difference between Christianity and religion. Since there many different religions but only one which provides everlasting life, my suggestion is not to discuss religion. Live the Christian life on the job in which case you will be setting the example and display behavior as an ambassador for Jesus Christ. When you do this consistently, others will see your living testimony and will come to you with questions about your behavior. When you leave work, you can then let them know that you are a child of God and your Savior is Jesus Christ. This is the best way to provide a testimony away from the job and yet help your co-workers to know Jesus!
How will reading your book help me on my job? --William - New Orleans, Louisiana
My book A Worker Need Not Be Ashamed is based on the Word of God. It was written to serve as a training guide for any worker regardless of your calling. It does not replace the Bible but is a tool which shows you how to apply God's Word in difficult situations in the real world of work. The experiences which I share are real and are based on over thirty six years in working in education and business and serving as a lay minister for my church.
Since many companies prohibit discussion of religion from management officials, for fear of discrimination suits, how can a Christian supervisor or manager encourage his or her subordinates to pursue the Christian work ethic within the context of a secular business environment?-- Karen - North Platte, Nebraska
There is a profound difference between Christianity and religion. Since there are many different religions but only one which provides everlasting life, my suggestion is not to discuss religion. Live the Christian life on the job in which case you will be setting the example and display behavior as an ambassador for Jesus Christ. When you do this consistently, others will see your living testimony and there will be no need to talk about religion! Furthermore, the right behavior (like the wrong one) can become contagious!
Don't be surprised if they come to you and question you about your behavior that is seen as being DIFFERENT from worldly behavior. If that happens, simply invite them to visit your church so they can learn about the one who enables you to live in such a Godly manner!