I am about to do my taxes, and I’m gathering the information I need to do it properly. There have been some ups and downs in the process, and I hope I get a decent return similar to last year. As I looked at a file, I saw how much I made entirely at one of my jobs. I then remembered how many months I worked for that business. So, I did some math to where I found out how much I was making a week. I was making around $350 a week. At that job, I was getting paid every two months, but it was about the same as me working as a temp somewhere else.
I thought to myself, “I need something else.” I like my current job better than the last one, but after I finish working there hopefully for a year, I want to have a job that has more pay. If I’m to have a job like that, I need to be reminded that it may carry a bigger amount of responsibility. I’m considering having two jobs, and that may lift up my work ethic. I can’t have a $350-a-week life, not for what I need/ want to do.
The main reason I want an increased income is so that I can get rid of debt quicker. I have made a lot of financial mistakes, and I know I can’t get out of debt on my own. I want to be debt free so that I can give more, build wealth, and have backup in case something comes up. Being in debt doesn’t help with any of those things. When I become debt free, I want to cry like a woman I saw whose door-prize winning ticket gave her a $100 Wal-Mart gift card at a Christmas dinner hosted by an organization that helps ex-cons find employment. For the rest of the evening, it was like her hands were covering her face as tears ran down. That’s how I want to be when I’m debt free.
The second reason I want an increased income is to be out on my own. I live with my family, and all of the things I accumulated over the years from schooling came with me. I have to do some downsizing, but also I need to grow up a little more and have my own place. I think having my own place requires a lot of maturity, management, and wisdom. Also, unless I had a roommate, I don’t think I can have my own place making $350 a week. Even with a roommate it would be challenging.
Another reason I want an increased income is to make room for relationships. I make my schedule for my job for the most part, and I can be working from day to night. Some things are cut out, and I may feel like I’m missing out on social gatherings. I would like to make time for a few friends, though finances don’t really play a part in it. Being single, I want to have a relationship, and being in debt feels like it hinders that possibility. And if I am to be married, I wouldn’t want a huge amount of debt looming over the marriage. I would love to step it up and give myself some financial security first before making any huge relational decisions.
I think the big reason why I live a $350-a-week life is because I’m afraid to step up to the plate. I don’t want to be the first to stand up in the room and say, “I’ll do it.” I don’t know if that’s being passive, but I have learned that if I want to grow, I need to put the work in. I can’t wait for it to come to me. And for sure I’m not entitled to an increased income, and I needed to learn that lesson. People like me need to learn not to be afraid to go for it, even if the outcome is uncertain. I had times where I applied for positions that I’m not sure I qualified for, but I did it. If there’s something that I want to do, it’s time to step up.
Another reason why I live a $350-a-week life is because I didn’t look wise enough and I settled. After college, I did try to look for work based off of my degree, but after a few days I gave up, something I shouldn’t have done. I ended up finding work with temp agencies, going overseas for a mission trip, coming back to temp work, going to seminary for a few years, and going back to temp work, and finally to non-temp employment. Discouragement is very much a problem, and getting out of it is difficult, but when people get out of it there is a hopeful outlook in them. People like me need to keep looking until we find something we’re connected to, and it may take us beyond our comfort zones. I have to do some more searching for careers that cater to my major, and I may find something that does. Settling can be an enthusiasm-sucking parasite, and I have had work that was like it. I know there are some people, like parents, who had to work whatever they could find in order to provide food, shelter, clothing, and other important things. Those people do what they have to do to make sure their children want for nothing, in hopes that they may be inspired to do big things. People in my position may need to do what we can until something big pops up. What I learned in the meantime was to be a blessing in the workforce, and that has been an encouragement.
As a Christian, the first thing I need to do about employment is pray; pray to hear from the Lord, pray to ask about what to do in my current state of employment, pray about a possibility in new employment, and pray for wisdom so that I can be more responsible. While I’m at my current job, I can be a blessing to the people I’m serving and the people I work with and work for. Some times are good, some times are bad, but my character should say something, since I’m a representation of the Church. And while currently employed, I can polish up on a few things so that I can take that next step. Also, I can ask people to pray for me while I’m at my current job and what lies later on.
I think encouragement and support are very helpful in taking vocational and financial steps. Some people were encouraged by their family, their spouse, their friends, and/ or their mentors, and they went to do big things. Some man out in the world had support from his wife, and because of her support he went and got that job that would help them out of a bind. Sometimes encouragement and support doesn’t work, as some people may have emotional issues to hurdle. I’ve seen how a friend of mine had the support he needed over the years and how it made him to be a husband, father, and provider, all because of who was at his corner. We may never know how far a little encouragement and support can take us.
The biggest thing for me to do, to get out of a $350-a-week life, is put in the effort. I don’t want to stay in the same spot waiting for change, and I don’t want to settle thinking this is as good as I can be. There are people who have that mindset, and if we receive some true encouragement we can rise out of that mindset and into life-changing adventures.
And I’m just getting started.