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Are You Facing a Layoff or Career Transition? Here are Ten Things God Wants for You.

September 20, 2009

Guest post by Executive Leadership Coach, Dr. Stephen Payne. 

So, you just heard the jarring news that your job is being eliminated. Or perhaps you have made the “Big Decision” to change your job or career on your own. Either way you are starting one of life’s major transitions. Before rushing to polish and upload your resume, stop and think about what God might want for you. As you begin to plan for your networking, researching and resume-building activities, consider these ten great principles to follow, based on spiritual rather than business perspective.  

  1. You are moving on to something better. For certain you are going to a far better situation than the one you are leaving. Get your mind really clear on this point. God does not want you planning on doing less good than before. He always wants better for you.
  2. Be grateful to your former employers. Whatever your exit reason, your parting message to your bosses and colleagues is always one of deep gratitude. The past battles may have been intense, but God does not want you leaving people with a sour taste.
  3. Leave a roadmap behind for others. Before your final exit, get all your current job affairs fully in order and communicate the truth of what will be left undone. Even after you stop being paid, God expects you to do the very best to ensure success.
  4. Spend plenty of time with God. In transition, managing your spirit is more important than managing your network. God is there to guide you and reveal new pathways. So build daily time for Him into the plan.
  5. Get Focused. Create a strong Spiritual Purpose Statement (SPS) – a concise expression of what you and He both want from your working life – and then pray it to Him out loud. Here’s my SPS: “My true purpose is to help leaders from all walks of life achieve their greatest potential for growth.”
  6. Identify those who will help you. Create a list, hopefully a long list, of people you trust. Then take your SPS and go share it with each of them. Listen to them carfeully. Through these people, God wants to reveal your future pathway. There’s also a good chance that your next boss is known to one of them.
  7. Always give something back. Whenever you meet with people to share your SPS always give a gift (not necessarily a present – could be an idea, a contact, or simply praying with them) and always follow up afterward with a message of gratitude. 
  8. Don’t necessarily take the first thing that comes along. Be careful of opportunities that emerge too quickly, there’s often a good reason they have not been filled already. For sure God has an infinite supply of abundance for you, no need to think the first morsel is the sum total of your bounty.
  9. Be honest and respectful. Always practice telling your truth and showing good manners in all your job search actvities. God knows that a relationship that starts in lies and disrespect will continue and end that way. Just think back to the job you are leaving.
  10. Build a pipeline of many job opportunities. Let God’s abundance come into your life in the form of many positive choices. You are far stronger that way.

 And finally, just one more rule from me: pray the “Career Transition” prayer every day. Here it is:


I now surrender my working life to You. By Your grace and with Your help, let me reveal more of Your amazing power and love as I serve You through my next job. Please show me the abundant pathways that take me to serving the highest and greatest good of  the organizations and people that come into my life. I ask this in the name of my savior, Jesus Christ.


Dr. Payne is a former-CEO-turned executive leadership coach, as well as a speaker, MBA teacher, author and founder of Equilibrium – a community of men and women dedicated to expanding their spiritual journey through their leadership work. Combining his faith, his experience as a CEO, and his 15 years of leadership consulting, he challenges leaders to stay more accountable to God throughout their entire career. His books and CD’s include of First Rule of Leadership, Total Leadership, Driving Growth Through Leadership and Manage Your World On One Page.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. donkimrey permalink
    September 20, 2009 7:33 pm

    Good job! I’ve come to expect solid stuff at this site, and Dr. Payne’s post is no exception.

    I’ve also followed some of the others who comment on your site and have found them to be very thoughtful and intelligent. It would seem logical to conclude, then, that they’re also useful.

    With continued admiration,
    ~donkimrey >

  2. September 21, 2009 2:45 pm

    There’s absolutely no reason not to apply such wise advice to every changing situation in life. Solid counsel here!

    Does Dr. Payne tweet? I couldn’t pick him out among the Stephen Paynes on Twitter and would like to follow him.

  3. September 21, 2009 9:59 pm

    I so appreciate this as I approach such a transition in the next month or so. As I’ve been working myself out of my job, the thing in the forefront of my mind has been that whatever comes next is the thing that God will use to make us love Him more, trust Him more, and obey Him more. And while it may not be “better” in the sense of higher pay and other tangibles, it’s “better” in what it will accomplish.

    I’ll be traveling to another regional office to train those who will assume my responsibilities in the next weeks. I figure I owe that to my colleagues who continue on. But meanwhile I see others around me constantly disparaging the company. While the decisions certainly adversely impact our current jobs, it’s hard to watch others burn bridges as they cross.

    Thanks so much for this timely wisdom.

  4. September 22, 2009 1:41 pm

    i like your advice about looking forward with a positive mind to what God has in store, instead of looking back in dismay over what we think we have lost.

  5. September 23, 2009 12:41 pm

    These are great guidelines to follow. I hope I never need them, but I’m printing this out and tucking it away. Pray to God but tie your camel, right?

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