Hell week

June 01, 2019

HAVE you ever had a “hell week”? Nothing seemed to go right? Stressed out beyond measure? Want to drop everything and quit? In a previous job, my hell week began when we made a sale, but defective goods were delivered. Irate customer. Emergency meetings. Facing a claim. Meantime, visitors from Singapore flew in for business review. Translation: they intrude upon your time and toss out unsolicited advice.  Working lunches and dinners. A flurry of customer visits.

By the end of this week, I was wiped out.  I told myself: I don’t want to be in this job anymore. But where can I go? To just walk away without a new job would seem to be a bad move.  Plus, someone still had to stay and clean the mess caused by the defective shipment.  Talk about struggling with job problems you didn’t create!

At one time, over lunch, my best friend told me, “I don’t have the answer as to what you should do, whether to resign or not. But if you find yourself trapped in a job you no longer love, your highest priority is not to get out, but to make sure that God is there with you.”

Zing! Guess who came to my mind. Joseph. Think about it: Joseph was the “bright boy” of his boss, his father Jacob. His future seemed bright. In fact, even God showed him that someday not only his brothers will bow before him, but his parents as well.  If you were the victim of office intrigue or politics, then you’d appreciate Joseph’s situation:  Because of his dreams, Joseph was despised by his brothers.

In Genesis 37, Joseph’s own “hell week” began when his own brothers threw him into a pit. They were callous enough to enjoy a meal while Joseph was left to die there (v 27).  Suddenly they had “a change of heart”: they rescued Joseph from the pit only to peddle him to passing traders. Imagine realizing that your life was worth a measly 20 shekels!

Joseph found himself a slave in Potiphar’s household. No doubt he didn’t want to be there. Before, he was the apple of Jacob’s eye. An heir to a wealthy patriarch.  He must have been traumatized by the betrayal of his own brothers. Now, he was stuck in a foreign land — with a pagan culture and strange language — as a slave. It was literally a job he did not ask for!

What about you? Are you trapped in a job you don’t want? Feel you deserved better? Your present career a far cry from your dreams, your ambitions?  What do you do with this predicament?  Joseph didn’t sulk. He didn’t turn out lousy work. He didn’t even try to escape. Read carefully, this is the secret not only of Joseph’s perseverance, but also his success: “And the LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man... Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39: 2, 3).

To be continued. Meantime, for more career advice, check out my latest book Soaring High: Your Flight Plan to Your Best Career Ever!, available at major bookstores nationwide!