27 April 2017

Archives for May 2016

We Reap What We Sow

We-Reap-What-We-Sow


Where are you scattering your seed?

I met with a client recently who has two companies after him right now – one said, “What would it take to get you to join our company?” He just launched his campaign. We reap what we sow. This client is doing the hard work necessary to prepare himself for this competitive job market and it is paying off. He is reaping what he sowed.

Several years ago another JobSeeker, Ken King, wrote to me about some networking success he’d had. He said, “I’m convinced that networking is like planting seeds. Some will germinate, but it may take a while. The seeds need ongoing attention to help them grow.”

It occurred to me that Jesus told a similar story; it’s known as the parable of the sower, found in Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23:

(1-9) That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”

(18-23) “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Jesus was talking about those who hear the Good News in this parable. The way we respond to the call of God has eternal consequences. The cool thing about parables is that they teach truths about our time here on earth as well. I believe this parable is where we get the phrase, “We reap what we sow.”

When it comes to job search, this parable teaches us that we experience the consequences of our actions. The seeds and soil represent the way we sow (use) our strategy, tools and skills:

Along the path.

Job boards may seem like the path of least resistance, but Jesus teaches us that the evil one snatches our seed away. Of the four places to scatter seed, this is the only one where Jesus mentions Satan. Satan loves it when we rely on ad response because thousands of birds are snatching our résumés away before employers get to see them. Responding to ads gives us false hope.

I hear those of you scattering seeds along the path saying, “Dave, I don’t know what’s wrong, I’ve sent out 50 résumés and haven’t heard a thing back.”

In rocky places.

This represents those of us who begin networking with joy, but when trouble comes we quickly fall away. We give it a try but quickly let it go when it fails to produce a crop. We get pumped up on Friday, but by the time the sun comes up on Monday, we revert to job boards or fall into depression or get distracted by competing priorities.

Those of you who sow in rocky places say, “I’ve tried networking; I called someone and left a message and they didn’t call me back. Networking works for other people, but not for me.”

Among the thorns.

Here we are networking hard, but worries and deceitfulness choke our enthusiasm out, making our efforts unfruitful. We try networking and have some success, but get bogged down for a couple of reasons: “analysis paralysis” and “all eggs in one basket.” Sometimes we get so focused on one job that if it doesn’t bear fruit, there are no other seeds that have broken the surface, so we have to start the cycle again by sowing more seeds.

Those of you who sow among the thorns say, “I’m interviewing for a job and I need to focus all my attention on this one so I don’t blow it.”

On good soil.

Those of us who sow in good soil produce a crop 100, 60 or 30 times what we sow. Like Ruben and Ken, we “get it.” We know that producing a crop a crop takes time and informed effort. We sow some seed every day. We nurture the seed we’ve already sown. We do our best to give it the right amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer. We pull weeds and prune. Over time our efforts yield a crop – one or more job offers.

For those of you who sow in good soil, I hear you saying things like, “I met with my advisory board and they’ve given me some new ideas.” “That call didn’t go so well, but I’m not giving up.” “I asked a friend for help and you won’t believe what happened.”

We reap what we sow.

Which of these four characterizes your search? When you look around at your garden, are birds snatching your message and flying away? Do you try networking but quickly revert to job boards? Have you zeroed in on one thing to the exclusion of all others? Or do you accept disappointment and failure as part of the process of success?

ACTION ITEM: As soon as you finish reading this message, I challenge you to call three friends and ask for advice, information and/or referrals (AIR). Plant some seeds like this week’s client and Ken did.

Come to JobSeekers Friday and let us know what happened.

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Scuba Divers Perish 10 Feet From Safety

Ginnie Springs


Never, never, never give up. You may be
10 feet from your saving light.

When I moved to Florida many years ago, I took up scuba diving. My scuba diving home was a place called Ginnie Springs in north central Florida. I use the story of my first trip to Ginnie – and the sheer terror I felt on my first dive into the spring – in some of my teaching to describe what an empowering experience it was to conquer my fears and expand my comfort zone.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of taking my kids to Ginnie for some snorkeling. We were on the way home from Tampa after a five-day cruise to celebrate my parents’ anniversary.

I love scuba diving because it is an extra-sensory experience. Most people know about the feeling of weightlessness. Light does interesting things. It doesn’t diffuse very well; that is, it doesn’t bend around corners. Reds fade to gray at a depth of 30 feet; other colors melt away as depth increases and at 120 feet everything is gray. To be weightless and in pitch black on a night dive is very disorienting.

One thing that blew me away was the fact that you can’t sense a person who is just inches away. I lost my dive buddy one time; I looked left, right, forward and backward and couldn’t see him. I thought about how much trouble I was going to be in because I lost my dive buddy. Making just the slightest movement toward the surface, I bumped into him. If he had been that close to me on terra firma, I would have felt him breathing on my neck.

Scuba divers perish 10 feet from safety.

Back to Ginnie Springs. In addition to the spring for which the park gets its name, there are two other springs there, Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear. These two springs are less than 100 feet apart; it’s well known that a cave connects them. In spite of repeated warnings of the imminent danger, a few untrained divers have attempted to traverse the underwater cave. You’ve probably guessed by now that some don’t make it.

One of my instructors, Steve Straatsma, was one of three or four people in Florida who recovered bodies from caves. One night he was telling us about the last extraction he’d done. It was a father and son. When they gave up hope of finding the exit, the father wrote a farewell note to his wife on an underwater tablet. Steve said the amazing thing was that they were 10 feet from daylight. If they had only looked around the next corner, if only they hadn’t given up hope.

Don’t perish 10 feet from your next job.

Being in a job search is an extra sensory experience too. Maybe you feel weightless – or maybe you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Perhaps everything is gray and melancholy for you, or maybe even pitch black. Maybe you can’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, even though he is breathing on the back of your neck. Maybe you feel like you’ll never find a job.

Friends, don’t give up! Never give up hope. Your next job may be 10 feet away, even though you can’t see it. Take Steve’s advice and look around every corner. When I experienced disappointment and frustration with my job search in September 2000, my friend Fred Fratto reminded me that it’s always darkest right before the dawn. He was right; 30 days later I had the first conversation that led to me accepting a great position with a leading training and consulting company.

Light dawns in the darkness.

You have the Light of the World (see #10 below) shining on your face; when you trust Christ to be your guide, you will never walk in darkness – you will have the Light of Life before you. Here are just a few verses concerning darkness and light:

  1. Psalm 112:4 – Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. (Contemporary English Version)
  2. 2 Samuel 22:29 – You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
  3. Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
  4. Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
  5. Isaiah 9:2 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
  6. Isaiah 42:16 – I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
  7. Micah 7:8 – Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
  8. 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
  9. 1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
  10. John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we step out of the darkness and into the Light!

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

How King Hezekiah Prospered

Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Spring of Gihon -- low rez


Hezekiah’s Tunnel from the Spring of Gihon

JobSeekers’ name is derived from Matthew 6:33, which says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In this week’s message, we will examine one of the great Old Testament kings, Hezekiah, who descended from kings David and Solomon. Hezekiah lived the spirit of Matthew 6:33 more than 700 years before Jesus spoke those words.

The account of Hezekiah, King of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) is found in 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, and Isaiah 36-39. He was 25 when he became king in 728 BC; he reigned 29 years, so he was 54 when he died (2 Kings 18:2 and 2 Chronicles 29:1). He was a good king and oversaw:

Spiritual reform.

He purified the temple (which had been corrupted by his father and other kings), oversaw great sacrifices (600 bulls and 3,000 sheep and goats), and led the spiritual reform of the people. “There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.” – 2 Chronicles 30:26

Economic prosperity.

The Israelites generously gave the first fruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. The chief priest said: “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.” – 2 Chronicles 31:10

Relative peace.

In 722, the sixth year of Hezekiah’s reign, Israel (the adjacent Northern Kingdom) fell to Sennacherib and the Assyrians. Eight years after the fall of the Northern Kingdom, Sennacherib attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. He taunted Hezekiah and insulted the living God. Hezekiah prayed for deliverance from Sennacherib. “That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp (2 Kings 19:35 and Isaiah 37:36).” When Sennacherib fled back to Nineveh, his sons killed him with a sword.

At the age of 39, things were going very well for Hezekiah, just like things were going well for us when we were rocking along in our careers. Guess what? Hezekiah’s heart filled with pride (2 Chronicles 32:25).

Were you full of pride when things were going well in your career? I was.

This displeased God and Hezekiah became ill. Isaiah suggests that it had something to do with boils (Isaiah 38:21). “Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 32:25). Here’s the account in Isaiah 38:1-6:

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add 15 years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.’”

Hezekiah repented of the pride in his heart and God added 15 years to his life. During this time Judah enjoyed more peace and prosperity. He oversaw the building of storehouses, villages and a tunnel – which was one-third of a mile long – that brought fresh water from the Spring of Gihon into Jerusalem.

He Sought His God and Worked Wholeheartedly

Throughout his reign (with the one exception mentioned above), the key to his success lies in 2 Chronicles 31:20-21; it is one of my favorite verses for job seekers: “This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.”

Hezekiah sought his God and worked wholeheartedly; and so he prospered.

It drives me crazy when a JobSeeker tells me he or she is trusting in the Lord – and then I find out he or she is sitting on the couch watching Dr. Phil and waiting on the phone to ring. Friends, this is not what God has called us to do! He has called us to trust him AND to work wholeheartedly.

To what degree would God say you are seeking him in your job search?

To what degree would God say you are working wholeheartedly on your job search?

J.B. Kirk (JobSeekers’ board member) once said to me, “Part of our sanctification process is going through a period of brokenness.” As you go through a period of brokenness, do what Hezekiah did. Seek the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength. Listen to his guidance and instruction, AND work wholeheartedly on your job search as he directs you. Like Hezekiah, you will have success and prosperity again as long as you seek the Lord AND work wholeheartedly. Not only will you come out of this process with a good job, your faith will be stronger.

See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we seek the Lord and work wholeheartedly!

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Job Search Secrets: How to Earn $15K Real Fast

BillyMays[1]


Set your alarm now to take advantage of this amazing offer!

Our topic for Friday 13 May is “How to Earn $15K Real Fast!” You will learn job search secrets that have put thousands of dollars into savvy job seekers’ pockets. This topic is about doing what’s best for you and for your family. Bring your calculator (no joke)!

– – – – –

But here’s what I really want to say:

Hi friends, Billy Mays here for JobSeekers of Peachtree City! Come Friday to learn the amazing secrets of how to earn $15,000 in just 11 weeks! Yes, you can have it all by using the strategy, tools and skills taught at the exciting, fun-filled and action-packed meetings held every Friday morning at First Baptist Church of Peachtree City!

Don’t delay! Set your alarm now! Don’t miss this exciting event! Yes, these methods work like magic when applied with a healthy dose of a positivity and the power of prayer!

And it’s all yours for only $1.00! A whopping $120 value, for only $1.00. Here’s how to order!

– – – – –

JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for meeting day, time and location.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Corporate Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

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