I didn’t want senior year to end. I was living with my closest friends, making great strides in my academics and extracurriculars, and overall having an amazing time. But despite my enthusiasm for all that my last year of college had to offer, I felt a cloud hanging over me that grew heavier as the school year drew to a close: employment.
Unlike many of my peers, I did not feel prepared for life after graduation. I had no interest in going to grad school, and I wasn’t making steps toward a career track like the rest of my peers. I didn’t even know what my desired career track was! I tried to prolong my job search, but as graduation loomed I was forced to face facts: In a few weeks, I would be unemployed.
Even though the thought of life after school without a specific plan or destination was daunting, I knew I could rely on prayer to give me peace and answers. I’d learned from attending the Christian Science Sunday School that prayer helps us feel more of God’s presence and care, right in the face of challenging circumstances. And I’d also learned that God is divine Love—infinite and all-powerful. So it was natural to trust that a good outcome would follow from my prayers, since feeling more of Love’s control in my life had always had practical, healing effects.
I began my prayers by thinking about the idea of place. It might sound funny, but I wasn’t looking for my prayers to lead me to a job, per se, but rather, to bring me a feeling of comfort and security. More than anything, I wanted to feel useful. I found a helpful spiritual perspective on place from an article titled “Proving one’s right place.” In it, the author writes: “Man’s problem … is not to seek his place, for Principle [God] has him perfectly filling it right now. His problem is not to change the nature of his place from wrong to right. Principle perfectly maintains the absolute rightness of man’s place, and has ever done so” (The Christian Science Monitor, April 29, 1921).
A new concept of place started to take hold for me as I thought about this. I realized that my place was so much grander than any particular role in life. My gifts, my ideas, my very presence—which are all really the expression of God—are, and always will be, needed.
My place was so much grander than any particular role in life.
This realization helped me view my job situation in a whole new light. Instead of seeing myself as somehow without a place, I began to acknowledge that I was perfectly filling my role as a student, committee head, friend, and so on. My only job was to focus on the present, giving gratitude daily for the place that was already mine to fulfill.
Graduation came and went, and I was still unemployed. But I knew that I continued to fill a specific niche that only I could. This was a divine fact that no circumstance could take away from me, and this understanding brought me peace.
Then, just a few days after graduating, I became aware of a job opportunity. It was a position I’d heard about a few months before, but at the time, I’d dismissed the idea of applying, worrying that I wasn’t a good fit. But now, when I heard the position was still open and needed filling ASAP, I decided to send in my résumé. It felt different than before—as if I were being gently led to the position. Throughout the interview process I maintained that whether this worked out or not, I was still in my right place and always needed and useful. Later that week I was offered the position, and since then, the job has proven to be everything I needed and more—full of incredible people and God-led lessons.
Early on in my job search, when I thought I was the one who had to find my place, I was working from a basis of fear and stress, and was putting pressure on myself to succeed. However, the beauty of a place maintained by Principle is that nothing can ruin it or take it from you, and it is always good, harmonious, and uniquely yours. It belongs to you now—and always will.