So far in our series on the Modern Woman of Proverbs, we’ve talked about the importance of education for the 21st-century woman, regardless of age, stage of life. But post-graduation, or even while studying, women eventually enter the workforce. So let’s talk about the modern Christian woman in the workplace, specifically as employees.
Today, thanks to cultural changes, women have a very important role in the workplace, infusing it with determination, craft, intelligence, and creativity in a variety of ways!
The Golden Rule at work
In Proverbs 31, God left special instructions on everything a woman can be in the workplace. It says:
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.Proverbs 31:17
“Wow, but just one verse? You said it would have guidance on everything that women can be in the workplace!” That’s right! All a woman needs to be an excellent employee, besides bearing testimony of her God, is to do everything in the best way possible. No matter the size of the task!
Whether counting sheets of paper or overseeing the transaction of millions, consider everything of utmost importance. “So that I can get a raise?” No! So that people see God in you. We can and should be a light in our workplace, from Monday to Friday, regardless of occupation. God calls us to do everything with the greatest dedication as if we worked directly for Him. That’s the golden rule!
Besides the golden rule, there are four points that I consider important for Christian women in the job market:
Honesty first and foremost
Your integrity and honesty are above all else. Every day presents us with multiple opportunities to let something “small” slide. For example, a minor mistake in a document, a “white lie”, a detail left undone or unrecorded. It’s in these moments that our faith must always prevail. For us to be successful in our work and for God to bless us there, we need to honor Him in small things too.
Work as if God is sitting in the chair beside you, overlooking every email and report. Do they glorify Him?
Dress to impress
The way we dress is important, but especially in the workplace. It delivers a message about who we are before we even start talking. It’s important that we follow our faith determinedly and without shame. I had a unique experience at one company I worked for in São Paulo. I, as always, was one of the few girls to wear a skirt to work. In the first days when you don’t know anyone, it’s really difficult to stand out like that. The days passed and, rain, cold, heat, or sun, there I was in my skirt. I began noticing that some women started wearing skirts or dresses to work. Only later did I hear from several of them that they found my “skirt collection” very “cute and feminine,” and that I had made them want to wear skirts and dresses more often.
I know not everyone will have a similar experience, but my point is that there is always someone watching you. Be firm in what you believe! (Need a little help finding your style so that you feel confident in your modest wardrobe? Check out our TGW personal style guide.)
Remember the Sabbath
We don’t work on Sabbaths, but what about Fridays? It’s a complicated day for those who have a timesheet at work. Sunset times change throughout the year, and in some seasons sunset happens before we’re off work. Not to mention the time it takes to get home and get ready to welcome the Sabbath properly.
Don’t be afraid. Talk to your boss. Pray and start the conversation confident that God will help you. Show that you are willing to work extra to make up the hours you will need off on Friday, and your boss will understand that your request is genuinely attached to your faith and not out of a desire to start your weekend early as some may think. Calculate the time you need on Friday so that you may be ready for the Sabbath on time and without stress. Have an open conversation with your boss. Remember, when you place God first in your life, He will provide.
This last point is crucial. As the years pass, it’s natural that you develop friendships at work. After all, you spend more time with your co-workers during the week than with your own family. However, it’s important to draw a line in your mind. You may often be invited to events that may not be the best environment for you, like, barbecues, happy hours, office parties, among others. Be cautious when responding to these invitations. They may seem harmless, but always have God as your guide in these decisions. If the answer to the question “Can God accompany me there?” is yes, you will know that you are in the right place. If not, then maybe wait to hear about it on Monday. Keep in mind that as Christians we are in this world to be an influence, not to be influenced.
I hope you see God in your work and invite Him to be your career mentor. Let Him guide your every decision.