In part 2 of this series we covered following a career path that fits you, whether it involves a college degree, a trade school or a career that doesn’t require special training or higher education. Most people find several areas that are of interest to them and that fit their personality and aptitudes.
Some may be talented in sports, music or art. Perhaps mathematics or science is an interest that fits a person’s aptitudes. Maybe mechanics, construction or engineering meets those criteria. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, available in most libraries in the United States, lists more than 28,000 jobs. For example, 16 job titles come under the “Art” classification, with another nine listed under “Artists.” These two classifications include entries for various types of art and range from artist suppliers to creators of commercial and medical artwork.
The same variety can be found in almost every area of interest. Occupational titles number about 31,000. (The U.S. Census Bureau implemented the North American Industry Classification System for the 2000 census. The new system defines industry groups in Canada, the United States and Mexico. View the list online at www.census.gov/hhes/www/ioindex/index.html .)
How can you narrow the field to know which direction to head in choosing a career? In this article we cover several keys to consider.
Think about job demand
Something to consider is the future job market. Because of ever-changing circumstances, demands for some jobs will always be greater than for others. This doesn’t mean there will be no need for people in the areas that show less growth but that there probably will be greater competition for the jobs that come available.
When considering the types of careers to pursue, it’s therefore wise to look for areas that will have greater needs in the future rather than struggling to compete for a job that may be hard to get—or may, over time, be phased out. Proverbs 27:12 Proverbs 27:12A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
American King James Version×offers some wise advice: “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences” (Living Bible).
For more information on careers projected to be the fastest growing through 2008, see the archives section of our magazine devoted to youths at www.verticalthought.org. The October 2000 issue has an article “Careers in the New Millennium,” gives more details on most popular job fields as well as additional tips on charting your career path.
Consider God’s instructions
A second major key is to make sure whatever career you choose is not at odds with God’s law. It would indeed be foolish to get to the point in planning your life that you almost decided on a career and then choose one that could be at odds with God’s instructions for life.
We’re admonished in Proverbs 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
American King James Version×to “put all your trust in the LORD and do not rely on your own understanding. At every step you take keep him in mind, and he will direct your path” (Revised English Bible).
Some careers have the potential to provide great material rewards but could involve activities that violate God’s law. Examples are drug-dealing and confidence schemes and other forms of theft or even professional sports or entertainment that might lead to violations of the Ten Commandments. Certain careers, although not inherently wrong, are difficult to pursue while obeying God’s instruction to “remember the Sabbath day” (Exodus 20:8 Exodus 20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
American King James Version×). To better understand the Fourth Commandment, please read our free booklet The Ten Commandments .
God gave King Solomon of ancient Israel great wisdom. As a result, this wise king wrote: ” Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalms 127:1 Psalms 127:1Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
American King James Version×, Revised Standard Version).
This verse does not refer to the structural stability of a building. It focuses on something much more important than that.
The builders of Egypt’s massive pyramids did not know the God of the Bible, yet the structures they erected stand as a monument to their architectural genius. Nevertheless, the great empire for which those edifices were erected has long since ceased to exist.
This is but one of many examples that show that, without God’s involvement and blessing, even the greatest of leaders and empires will not enjoy lasting success.
But a kingdom is coming that will be unlike anything the world has ever seen. As shown in the pages of the Bible, God offers those who will obey Him the chance to be part of that kingdom. It will be a government that will encompass the earth (Daniel 2:34-35 Daniel 2:34-35 34 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
American King James Version×, 44-45) and last forever (verse 44; 7:18). It will finally solve the world’s many problems. Who wouldn’t like to have a part in a kingdom such as that?
Some might think such a goal is out of reach or too far in the future to be of practical concern. Our Creator, however, has quite a different perspective. He tells us that godliness is profitable at all times—both now, in this present life, and in the future (1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 4:8For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
American King James Version×).
He promises great blessings now and later to those who seek Him and follow the advice He gives us in His Word, the Bible. Therefore, asking for God’s direction and considering His perspective on any career choices we are inclined to make is one of the smartest things we can do. It can bring benefits that help us not only now but for eternity.
Preparing for another future
Besides avoiding the setting of goals that are immoral or contrary to God’s law, what other considerations should we make in planning a career?
Though most people don’t realize it, Jesus Christ will return to earth to establish the kingdom we referred to earlier when we cited the book of Daniel. When that promised event comes, the establishing of the Kingdom of God, those who live over into that kingdom as human beings who already knew God and His way of life, will be in an excellent position to help rebuild a world that will have been ravaged by the plagues and wars described in the book of Revelation. (To learn more about the Kingdom and the events that will lead up to it, be sure to read our free booklets The Gospel of the Kingdom and The Book of Revelation Unveiled .)
If you want to take the most forwardlooking approach to deciding on a career, why not consider how your choices would fit into the coming Kingdom of God? If it begins in the near future, those who are just entering the job market may immediately be in a position to use their skills to help build the kind of world human visionaries and leaders have dreamed about for centuries.
The Bible describes the Kingdom of God as a world in which even wild animals will live at peace and the earth will be full of the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:6-9 Isaiah 11:6-9 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×). Nations will turn from building instruments of war to creating machinery conducive to peace (Isaiah 2:2-4 Isaiah 2:2-4 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×). Crop yields and productivity will soar to new heights, and cities will be rebuilt according to God’s specifications rather than man’s (Amos 9:13-14 Amos 9:13-14 13 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
American King James Version×).
This does not imply that everyone will need training for such fields as construction and agriculture. There will be no shortage of opportunities as a whole new society comes about. There will be a need for all kinds of job skills, from engineers to teachers to artists, to name a few.
Asking yourself how a potential career choice could contribute positively to the process of establishing or functioning in a new society based on godly principles can help you decide whether you are entering an area in line with God’s plan. These questions can help you be sure you are not building your “house” on your own (Psalms 127:1 Psalms 127:1Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
American King James Version×), but have God’s backing and support in an endeavor that is truly in line with His thinking. GN