Dear Maria,

I’ve got an opportunity for another job (I’m working part-time). This would be a different job, but I would work the same hours every day. I would miss dinner with my husband (4-8 p.m.), and possibly meetings at church if there are any. Hubby says he will be a-okay at dinner, so it’s probably me more than him. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been asking the Holy Spirit what to do, and waiting for some signs. I’ve seen some…maybe I just need to listen.

Signed,

Perplexed Polly

Dear Perplexed Polly,

A wise woman once told me about her decision making process regarding a job. She said: “I asked everyone else, except me.” Evaluating a job weighs the practical (pay, hours, commute, etc.) plus family, friends, and in your case church commitments/activities, too. As women, we run the risk of putting everyone else’s needs and opinions ahead of our own. I take it you are currently employed, and that this is a new opportunity, so you have a chance to do some reflection. You’re in a great place to have the time and space to discern. Too often, we rush into a job because we need the money and can’t consider other aspects of the decision.

FB_IMG_1441171120247How do you feel about the new job? Set aside all the details about the hours, dinner, church, etc. and take a few moments of quiet. Imagine yourself walking into the job on a typical day of work. How does it feel to be there? Who are the people you’re working with, and for? How do you get along with them? How about your customers? Does the work bring you a sense of satisfaction? Where do you sit or stand, and what do you, see, hear, and sense around you? Imagine yourself in that spot, and play out some work interactions. Pay attention to the feelings that come up as you do this. You may feel engaged and energized, or heavy and afraid, or a mix of these and other feelings as well. Your feelings will give you insights into which direction you’d like to go. Mix these feelings with the practical details as you think things over.

Any resistance? Try to sort through where it’s coming from. Is it because you feel you’ll let others down if you’re not as available as you once were? Or will you genuinely miss participating in dinner, church meetings, etc.? Try to get a sense of what’s holding you back, and why. You’ve asked for signs, and maybe you’ve received some. Did they point you in a direction that you don’t think you want to go? Take some quiet time and play out those options in your imagination. How do you feel following each path? Wherever it feels life-giving, you’re heading in a good direction. Another discernment tactic is to pretend for a day that you’ve made your choice. So, just for today, act as if you’ve taken the new job. Tomorrow, pretend you’ve turned it down and remain in your current job. Again, pay attention to which direction feels better for you. Now, is the job worth it? Or would you rather stay where you are?

When I faced a similar decision, an advisor suggested I do a “head check, heart check, and gut check” about my options. Your head has considered the details, now explore your feelings to give your heart and guts a say. All input is important. Remember: this is your decision. No one else can or should make it for you. Trust that you have the smarts and intuition to figure this out. Whether you choose the new job, stay where you are, or another opportunity comes along, you will bring your best self to the situation. Good luck!