When change is forced upon you.

It is happening more frequently to more people:

(All of the followings are real people I know, name changed)

  • John was a software engineer was laid off after more than two decades of service, when he was looking for a new job, he realized that his skills are hopelessly outdated.
  • Mary worked extremely long hours in the financial industry. When her turned 40 and she realized her body cannot handle the long hours anymore. She was promptly replaced by someone younger, cheaper, and more energetic.
  • Edward managed a small investment fund. He found it more and more difficult to make an honest living because most of his competitors had connections with clients with questionable sources of income while he in his good conscience refused to take in such clients. Eventually he quit.
  • Helen was a mid-level manager in a pharmaceutical company. After her company was acquired by its competitor, she was offered either to relocate overseas or take the package. She took the package.

Career changes happen to almost everyone. It is now a rarity to find someone who works for the same company for his or her entire career. Often we not only change jobs, we change our entire careers. I have worked with more than a few engineers who suddenly decided that they want to be real estate agents. I have friends who are fed up with Wall Street and gave up their lucrative careers in the financial industry in search of “something more meaningful”.

For those of us who are “fortunate” enough to keep our jobs, we are not immune to changes. Changes is being forced upon us daily. I work in the newspaper industry, we know we have to adapt to the digital world or be eliminated. 

In the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-14), our main character faces a career change that is forced upon him. He is going to lose his job. Like many of us, he is at a turning point in his career. His old career of being a manager is going to end soon. What he is going to do to cope with this change should be an inspiration to all of us struggling to find a new direction in our careers.

What is more amazing is his boss’ reaction to the manager’s shrewdness. Read the parable and be amazing. More discussion to come…