A story about quitting my job and stepping out in faith to embark on a new path.
To the outside world I had what some people have described as the perfect life, I was in a job I enjoyed with a loving wife and 2 kids who we were putting through private school and regular holidays. I was happy and content but God knew I was not reaching my full potential so January 2016, God put a word on my heart which was “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
To say it was puzzling at first would be an understatement but one thing I know is when God gives us information he tailors it to our individuals ways of thinking and looking at life and over the next 2 weeks he showed me what he meant. From listening to Steve Harvey talking about jumping and taking a leap of faith to various other videos, clips, quotes and conversation he revealed to me that I was settling.
8 years ago I was a contractor and it was something I enjoyed and I always said it would be something I would like to get back into and God was saying to me why not now? I was comfortable in my job, I had the privilege of working from home 2 days a week something which was unique to me only, I was respected and highly regarded and I had a good friendship with my manager. Work was comfortable but God was telling me if I want to reach the goals I had for my family I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To go into contracting you needed to be immediately available which at a maximum was 1 month but mostly it was a week. I had a 3 month notice period so that meant quitting my job without having something else to go into and believing everything will work out. As the main breadwinner of the house this was a serious leap of faith but as stated above after seeking God’s face and speaking to my wife whose response was what are you waiting for I resigned. **I cannot state the importance of having a good woman by your side who believes in you and gives you confidence**
During this period I also had the word about my running, I started running in Nov 2014 as a challenge because I had always told myself I was a short distance runner which I was at school and the sports I played where all quick burst so for me it was doing something which pushed me out of my comfort zone and after doing 2 half marathons in 2015 I thought I had proved something to myself and that was finished but God was not through teaching me just yet. Arthur Blank said “I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought” & looking back I can see that it was linked to what I was going to face in the upcoming months.
At the end of January 2016 I had quit my job and I was facing running a marathon so I was definitely embracing getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. In the next 3 months that unfolded I went through a lot of tests, I was offered a promotion at work which I turned down eventually as it was not what God has put on my heart, I was approached about some permanent roles which in Dec I probably would have jumped on and I also had some disappointment’s along the way in regards to interviews I went for but I was not successful. So many times I cried out to God to find some strength because worry and fear sometimes crept in but he was there revealing himself to me and my wife was my rock.
He also revealed himself through my marathon training because to be able to accommodate training that meant waking up at 5am in the morning every day in the rain, wind & snow. It meant being dedicated and sticking to a schedule and pushing myself and body to lengths I had never done. I remember a lot of times when I ran I always saw me getting my medal and that kept me going, during that period I was able to listen to several motivation rips from YouTube, sermons and sometimes just spend some time praying and running. As Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
Most of my work colleagues could not understand why I had quit work without a job and I had several long conversation but as the one of my fav quotes says “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.”
28th of April was my official leaving date so for me my search really started on the 4th of April as I was in that 1 month window, I signed up to LinkedIn Premium service for the 30 days free trial and I remember saying to myself I will not be extending this regardless of what happens. On the 6th I came down to London and met several recruiters and despite positive meeting over the next couple of weeks nothing happened. The roles I applied for I was not get any callback’s, the recruiters in London and Midlands were all quiet and the closer I got to the 28th the harder it got however my wife shared with me that she had been praying that regardless what happens I will have a job, in the second week of April I had a conversation with work who had filled my role but due to one of my team leaving (I had helped her get a job somewhere else) they wanted me to stay on till I got something. They initially wanted me to have a month notice period but I reduced that to 5 days & I also requested flexibility to attend interviews whenever I needed which eventually was agreed & my wife’s prayers were answered.
Despite having this agree I wanted to leave by the 28th so when I saw a role advertised by one of the agencies I had visited on the 4th which suited what I wanted to do I reached out and I got an interview. The interview was on the 22nd of April, I felt I did well and I was what they were looking for but a couple days later I got the feedback and it was a no, I had the required skill set but he wanted a season contractor not someone new to the contracting field. I was flabbergasted and angry because the reason for not getting the job I felt was ridiculous. On the 27th I saw a number of roles advertised by Hays so I reached out to my contact there and told him to speak to the relevant colleagues, one of them got back to me not about the role I had applied for but about another opportunity at BT, I looked through the job spec and I did not think I ticked all the boxes but I told her to send my details which she did and on the 28th of April she said they wanted to see me on the Friday which was a pleasant surprise. I went for the interview and probably for the first time in my life I walked out of an interview thinking I did not get that job, the question from the interviewee I felt I answered well but he repeated them a number of times and little things that were said I just felt nope this was not for me and I told the agency that.
Monday was a bank holiday and the marathon, all the months of training and preparation came and the race started really well I was keeping my pace and I was happy till mile 8 and I got injured. My hamstring from a previous football injury came back and I was in pain. Society says real men do not cry but I was close to it, the disappointment and frustration of coming this face was a deadly combination inside and when the medics asked me if I wanted to be quit I almost screamed yet but then I was reminded of the quote by Epictetus “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”. God had not brought me this far just to quit and turn around and yes even though it meant I won’t hit my time of 4:45 which was my target, it meant I would be in pain and it would take longer getting lapped by people in costumes and other who were 20+ years old than me I said I wanted to complete a marathon that was the goal so I persevered and carried on. I dragged myself around the track and I ran/hobbled the last mile but I finished and I got my medal. I learnt a lot of valuable lessons in that race in relation to life which is best summed up by this “Endurance is the spirit which can bear things, not simply with resignation, but with blazing hope. It is a quality which keeps a man on his feet with his face to the wind. It is the virtue which can transmute the hardest trial into glory because beyond the pain, it sees the goal.”
Tuesday the 4th of May was the final day of my free trial with Linkedin and that morning when I got to work I cancelled it, I had not managed to get a job but I was determined (cheap) to not have to pay for anything to get my job, the marathon despite the pain had filled me with hope and renewed me and looking back I could see why God had put that on my mind. That morning I got a phone call from Hays and they said they had spoken to BT but the feedback they had was the opposite of what I had said they wanted to offer me the job, I was in shock. The role which I did not I would get a call back from, with a bad interview I had got an offer for and it was more money that the previous role I was disappointed about. They also needed 2 weeks to sort things out due to security which was perfect for me as I could give work 5 days’ notice and take my holiday before leaving. In 2 days everything he had laid on my mind in Jan came to pass and he was faithful.
Previously me and my wife had been discussing the possibility of her reducing her hours at work by half a day possibly in September due to this she has been able to reduce her days to 4 days starting end of May. The long term goals are already happening because God is faithful.