A Not-So-Typical Career Path
What’s your career path been like? Some people are very loyal, and they stick to one or two jobs for their entire lives. Others are more mobile and tend to switch jobs if they get a better offer. My own career path has not been typical.
A “not-so-typical” career path
After graduating from university, I worked as a student counsellor with a college in KL. Sadly, I was rather miserable there. Because the college was small and student volume was low, in addition to student counselling I was also responsible to lecture in the diploma programme, apply for student visas with Malaysian Immigration, and visit schools to market and promote the college. While I’m sure I could do one or two of these jobs well, the combination of all four was overwhelming and I felt like I was drowning.
The good thing about facing these difficulties, though, is that they caused me to think more deeply about what I really wanted to do with my life. Upon reflection, I found that I’ve always felt most fulfilled serving God and His people, in youth fellowship and Christian Fellowships (CF’s) in secondary school and university. Seeking God’s calling for my life, I decided to enter into full-time Christian ministry.
For the next four years, I worked as a youth ministry staff with a parachurch organisation. During this time, I also married my wife, whom I had met in our university’s CF. After that, I worked with my church as a youth worker for two years. Although these years of full-time ministry had their challenges and their ups and downs, they were rich with experiences of God’s goodness and grace.
A decision to stay home for the family
When my son was born in 2012, my wife and I faced a decision. After much prayer and discussion, we felt that one of us should take a break from work to raise and nurture him. Since my salary was lower, that responsibility fell to me. Fast forward to today, my main income comes from doing transcription, proofreading, and editing. While the pay isn’t great, it gives me the flexibility to take care of my kids (my daughter entered the scene in 2017) and our home.
While I’m more focused on childcare and housework than income and status, I continue to be passionate about serving God and His people through lay preaching, worship leading, teaching Sunday school classes, and so on. I continue to see these as part of God’s calling for my life. As I serve Him, I rejoice to see His hand at work in and through me.
I myself benefit and grow as a result of my service, and I delight to see signs of fruit in the people I serve – a deeper understanding of God’s Word, a firmer commitment to follow Him, a positive change in outlook and behaviour.
And while I would never have anticipated that my “career” would turn out this way, I am confident that this is where God has led me, and committed to do it well. In this way, I can shoulder the responsibility of raising my kids and running our household while still serving God and His people.
New avenue of service with Our Daily Bread Ministries
Early this year, I found a new avenue of service through writing with Our Daily Bread (ODBM). Providentially, my sister heard that they were searching for writers and encouraged me to apply. I have since written four articles and two devotional facilitator’s guides for ODBM, and my role has expanded to include theological review.
This new partnership has been exciting and fruitful, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to share God’s Word with a wider audience beyond my own local church. One very encouraging thing was that the facilitators who used the guides I wrote shared how effective the devotionals were for their teen groups, and that quite a number of the teens under their care made a commitment to follow Jesus. Praise the Lord!
In conclusion, wherever you are and whatever your career is like, I believe that God has also given you gifts to serve Him and build up His church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). I pray that you will seek His purpose and plan for you right there where He has placed you.
May you “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27) and “shine… like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16) in your home, your church, your workplace, and wherever you go. Amen!
About the Author
Kiew Sieh Jin is a member of Taman Ujong Methodist Church, where he serves as a lay preacher, worship leader, and Captain of the Boys’ Brigade. He is happily married to Chen May and has two often endearing, sometimes naughty, but always beloved children.
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