This is the story of how God heard my prayer, got my husband a job, and proved it was all His doing on an uneventful international flight.
When my husband chose to study engineering, graduates from the field had their pick of jobs. An engineering education was considered an automatic in. However, six years later when he graduated with his Masters, we knew other grads who had been looking for work for over a year, the effects of the economic downturn were apparent. So, we started looking for openings but we weren’t encouraged by what we saw. The engineering career fairs, which in previous years had been packed with prospective employers, were empty. We sent out resumes, contacted friends and neighbors for recommendations, called in favors wherever we could, and still nothing. Like so many other Americans, my husband took a job unrelated to his field while we continued our search.
As the months ticked away, it was horrible to stand by and watch the pressure mount on my husbands shoulders. Also, I felt helpless, like a spectator of my own life, waiting on the decisions of others. Feeling humbled by our circumstances, I prayed for help. I prayed with the honesty of one who has exhausted every other resource. I prayed with conviction fueled by desperation, knowing that if we were going to find a good job when so many others were out of work too, it would have to be a miracle.
I knew my husband was doing all he could. I wanted to know how I could help. As I continued praying, a sense of empowerment began to well up in my heart. My thoughts became more positive. I asked for inspiration, and it came! Like a fresh breeze in a stifling room, ideas and excitement began to flow. I had a plan!
I made a resume website for him. Using, as a theme, some ridiculous (but very funny) photos we had taken of him looking remarkably like Napoleon Dynamite. The catch phrase was, “Engineering Resume; where it’s cool to be a nerd.”
The site had a very quirky feel, with links to funny YouTube videos about interviewing and the like, but it also housed the bulk of his resume. I put our personal profiles on there too, so employers could get to know our family. Then, I made him 50 business cards for the site featuring the picture of him dressed up as a nerd. It took a few days to pull it together and I worried that I was wasting my time.
Was this really going to help? I thought the idea was inspired, but was it really?
I showed the site and the cards to my husband. To my dismay, he was reluctant to use them, explaining that all his career advisors had warned against this type of thing. Engineering companies, he said, wanted to see serious and professional applicants. However, when I explained that I felt the idea was an answer to my prayers, he agreed to try it.
A little later, a friend recommended my husband to the ExxonMobil recruiters. They were recruiting for a very few available openings, and preferred to hire former interns, so the odds were against us. The recruiters were helpful, but honestly said there wouldn’t be many new hires this year. However, they encouraged my husband to go to the BYU career fair that week and meet the head recruiter if possible.
In order to make it there after a hectic day at work, my husband had to go straight from work to the campus. This meant that he was still dressed in dirty work clothes, boots and hard hat. Also, he had no printed resumes with him. We both wondered if it was even worth going unprepared like he was.
However, when my husband walked into the career fair, he held his head high. The ExxonMobil head recruiter had been swamped with hopefuls all day, especially since they were one of the only companies at the fair accepting applications. My husband introduced himself and they had a chuckle over his getup. Instead of being embarrassed, he used his attire as a conversation piece. It seemed like the meeting was going well until the recruiter asked for a resume. My husband informed him that he had sent one in online, but didn’t have any on hand. The recruiter was disappointed, asking how he was supposed to remember him without it.
That’s when my husband recalled his nerdy business card!
He reached for his card, apologized for it being a bit unorthodox, and handed it to the recruiter. All my husband’s apprehension flew out the window when the recruiter took one look at the card and threw back his head, laughing. He loved it. This was the coolest thing he had seen all day. He confided that my husband was at the top of his list and would make a great addition at Exxon.
Exultant, my husband came home to share the unexpectedly happy news. He was thrilled with the way things went. His quirky business card had been just the ticket.
The interviewing process with Exxon was quite extensive. He had five meetings altogether. During the weeks of interviews, we saw a spike of hits on his resume blog as well. Finally, after a three-month-long process, he was offered a coveted ExxonMobil position.
My husband gave me the credit saying it was all because of my idea to make a quirky site and card. There were a lot of factors though, and of course the card would have been useless if he wasn’t also a good candidate for the company. We still didn’t know what really got him the job, but we definitely felt blessed to get it. I expressed my gratitude to the Lord for answering our prayers.
Several months later, our aunt and uncle were taking an international flight and started up a conversation with their seat-mate. When they heard he worked for ExxonMobil they excitedly explained that their nephew, my husband, was just starting a new job with Exxon. Incredibly, it turned out that they were seated by the head recruiter who met my husband at the career fair. Of all the hopeful applicants he had met throughout the course of his job, he remembered my husband. He laughed as he explained to our aunt and uncle about the business card and website and how that won my husband the interview opportunity.
Now, some people would call that a coincidence. Some people would call my idea just the result of positive thinking. But to me, that’s more far-fetched than acknowledging that God answered my prayers. It was simply a miracle.
God didn’t just make it happen without effort on our part, that’s not how He works, but he made our efforts efficient and successful when the odds were totally against us.
Not only did the Lord inspire me with the desire to be proactive, He showed me the avenue to take. He helped me design a mini marketing campaign with the right tone and media. All those little circumstances came together for the business card to be received at the right moment. And then, He even made plain His miracle with the serendipitous meeting on the plane.
I asked for help, I felt the inspiration flow and knew the Lord was there for me. Then, I watched the miracle unfold with beautiful simplicity. Perhaps it’s difficult to have faith in the miracle unless you also felt the hopeless reality of our long and unsuccessful job search before we sought out God’s help. We felt a real difference. Maybe that’s why we each need to pray and experience faith for ourselves.
I have had many experiences like this throughout my life. I know that God hears and answers prayers. I know that He is aware of us and waits on us to ask, seek and knock, as the bible says. Matt 7:8- For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. This is my personal experience of testing that promise. I have found it to be amazingly, miraculously, exhilaratingly true.