Ted's Career Advice

Since Ted graduated from university in 1985, he has worked for several different companies and has also done freelance and entrepreneurial work in Hong Kong. Most jobs have been related to information technology. He also has a wife and three children who are in different fields of work or study. He's seen people pursue various careers and follow different career paths. The good news is that most people have the freedom to choose the work they do. The bad news is that our Sovereign Creator will judge us at the end of this life based on our choices. Payday is coming. Below are some principles that Ted has learned over the years about career choices. He has tried to live by these principles.

  1. Seek available guidance from our Sovereign creator regarding specific direction. Pray to Him. He actually cares more about our choices than we do.
  2. Seek to align yourself with our Sovereign Creator's revealed general will for humans in the Holy Bible, which is the oldest and truest manual for living. For example, do not worry and follow the world as it pursues the things that do not last for eternity - material things, status, pleasure, popularity and comfort - but try to pursue the things that are important to our Sovereign Creator like His Kingdom on earth and His righteousness. Then, He will meet all of our needs. (See Matthew 6, Romans 12:2 and 1 Timothy 6:6-10)
  3. Make plans by seeking advice from people who have experience in your chosen field (See Proverbs 20:18). Plans fail for lack of counsel (not asking the right people and/or not asking enough people), but many advisors bring success (Proverbs 15:22). Ideally, this is done face to face with someone you trust. Digital dialogue can also be helpful. Reading articles and listening to experienced people online can also be helpful, but this can be dangerous if the person has bad character or issues in his or her personal life. The better you know the person, the better.
  4. If possible, ask your parents for their advice (Deuteronomy 5:16, Proverbs 4:1,2)
  5. Look at supply and demand, and choose a direction in which supply is expected to be much lower than demand for certain skills for the next 5 to 10 years. This can lead to more choices and more bargaining power, especially in terms of working hours. Ideally, identify work that you can do well and that few other people can do well.
  6. If you plan to start a family, then plan a career in which you will have at least 10-20 hours per week to devote to your wife and children, especially during the years prior to your children's secondary school education. Many parents learn this only too late when their children are already in secondary school and want to be independent; then they regret not spending more time to teach them and impart values.
  7. Always make financial compensation secondary to health and wellness. Some people spend 30-40 years wasting their health to make money and then spend the rest of their lives and lots of money trying to regain good health and/or simply avoid dying prematurely.
  8. Try to find jobs to do where you can fully utilize your unique talents and skills to serve people. Jesus Christ taught that the path to greatness is not achievement but serving. So anyone can become great in the eyes of our Sovereign Creator, because anyone can serve. (See Mark 10:42-45.)
  9. Be open for unexpected opportunities that may seem to be odd or risky but can lead to good work. (See Ecclesiastes 11:1-6).
  10. Don't stay too long in a job in which your health is adversely affected or your colleagues are jealous (Proverbs 27:4), exceedingly competitive or malicious. Pray for healing and/or ask God to give you strength and to change the evil hearts of your colleagues, but if things remain the same or get worse after a number of months or years, then learn what you can until the right time and ask our Sovereign Creator to provide a new opportunity in which you can be healthy and work in peace (Romans 12:18).
  11. Be a team player if you are in agreement with the team’s goals and if the methodology to achieve the goals is not dishonest; otherwise, speak out to try to bring change or quietly find another team or work independently. (See Proverbs 13:20 and Amos 3:3) If you get sidelined or fired due to your speaking out about what's right or by simply doing what's right while others do what's wrong, then the loss is not yours. The people letting you go are the losers.
  12. Whatever you do, work hard, especially when you are young. All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:22.) It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. (Jeremiah 3:27.)