Thursday, January 11, 2007

Leaving the Comfort Zone to Experience God's Provision

Back in October I had a post Could This Be God's Provision? in which I described a quandary related to how I support my family. I was good at my work as a consultant designing software. Unlike most of my consultant co-workers, I actually had a local client and did not have to travel on business very much.

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



2 comments:

Genfaith said...

Amen, GOD is good. Thanks for sharing.

God bless you brother.

Phil said...

genfaith,

Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me!