Then it happened. My boss' boss told me she wanted me to sell more consulting services vs. actually be the one to do the work. This began a couple of months of introspection about my career and God's provision. I was comfortable where I was and what I was doing. But was I too comfortable? In the last few years I have been trying to be alert to the leading of the Holy Spirit and I really wondered "Was I supposed to say 'yes' to this career change? Was there a reason this opportunity presented itself? Was this an accident? Is this a door of opportunity that has opened for a short time and I'm supposed to walk thru the door... without having to know the final outcome?"
In the previous post I told of several friends from church who found themselves no longer being able to remain employees and actually had to take a financial risk and make a leap of faith to buy out the boss and become business owners. I had every reason to believe they became closer to God and God's will in the process. I began comparing my situation to theirs and wondering if this was my time in life that God wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith and trust in His provision.
Well... guess what happened?
Since October I talked to many different people. I made a point to talk to some self employed Christian men who had taken some risk in their work lives. I talked to trusted co-workers. I would say about 90% of the advise I got was to "go for it" (the change to marketing that is). I prayed for wisdom and discernment. I asked God to help me honor Him in whatever I was supposed to do as His provision for my family.
I work in a very matrixed organization so I have a lot of different managers and told them all I thought I wanted to make a switch to do more selling even if that meant I had to leave my comfortable, no-travel technical position. All were supportive. I had only one final phone call with the "big boss" who started the whole process by telling me to worry more about selling and less about delivery (doing it myself). I scheduled the call about two weeks in advance where I expected to give her my "Yes I'd like to do this. I'd like to change my job title. I'm willing to take on a sales quota."
Two days before my call, everything changed. I found out the very same boss who had told me to sell more only two months earlier had suggested my name to take a technical leadership role on a project with a major electronics company. I must admit my first reaction was that this was a very bad sign. She must have reconsidered and decided I couldn't sell.
Then I started to get more information. She didn't suggest my name to keep me from changing to a marketing post. She suggested my name to take a leadership position at one of her most important accounts. It turns out this client was not just any client but a client doing a huge amount of business with my employer. I wouldn't just be consulting. I would be working directly for an influential technology executive at this firm. I wouldn't just be working a couple of hours away from home. There was a very real possibility of a trip to China and Toronto, Canada. This "delivery" position had a huge amount of impact and visibility.
So now you know. I sought counsel from many Christian men I trusted. I prayed for discernment. I prayed for God to show me His will. I didn't switch job titles to go into marketing. I am genuinely excited about my new challenge and the many different people I will meet from many different cultures. I now look at the whole exercise about going into marketing to have been more about "am I willing to leave what is comfortable if that is what God wants me to do?" And.. I now leave Sunday morning for China. Ain't God good!
Copyright © 2007 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved