As the guide to leaving the church suggests, if you are in a job that is owned and operated by Seventh Day Adventists, then you should leave it and find a new one. The same applies for jobs where there are a large number of Seventh Day Adventists around that you must regularly come in contact with. While it can be daunting to try and find a new job, it will be worth it in the end, and this page should hopefully give you some good tips to move forward with. One of the big reasons Adventists get jobs with other Adventists is because of the Sabbath, and so we so into that in greater detail.
Please note: A guide on how to actually find a job would take a long time. My advice for you is to Google this and find some good guides on things such as finding the right job for you, writing a CV and how to ace interviews.
Do I really need a new job?
As I mentioned in the guide, I have no intention of going in-depth as to whether or not you should quit your job. If you come from a conservative background (and especially if you come from an extreme Adventist sect) you will know that becoming part of “The World” is terrifying. It is terrifying, because we are social creatures and we need affirmation from the people around us. If people treat as poorly and say cruel things about us (especially people that we respect) it will hurt a lot, and you will risk sinking into depression. Work is 8+ hours a day – it is important to work in a positive environment for your mental health.
How to deal with the Sabbath
One issue though you will find is questions regard The Sabbath. In many places around the world, during the winter time Sabbath sets early. Early, as in the afternoon early. If your work requires you to be there until 5pm on Fridays (as in, most jobs) this can be tricky. You might also find a job that has shifts on Saturdays. This poses a number of challenges for you. Here are some tips for dealing with this:
- Remember, you will need to switch your job before you actually leave the church. Keep this in mind before taking jobs that have shifts that run during Sabbath.
- If sun sets early on Fridays during the winter, then consider waiting until sun starts setting later before you look for a new job. That way you don’t have to deal with awkward questions.
- Alternatively, you can come up with an excuse to explain why you are late home. An example of this is you could claim that you are now attending a weekly creationist event with your Christian friend on Friday evenings, and continue to lie and say your new job lets you out early.
- If your job requires that you have whole shifts on Sabbath, this is going to be a very hard lie to keep up. My suggestion is to not take a job that requires this unless you plan to “come out” very soon. In the meantime, you will need to come up with creative lies that a) plausibly explain why you would be out of touch for 8 hours a day and b) still are in-line with Sabbath. One suggestion is you could say that you are attending an e-church for a change of pace, and that you are then going to a very long nature walk/drive directly afterwards. If they question you further, be prepared to come up with large lies on the spot. This is going to be a very stressful lie to maintain for more than a few weeks – so limit you usage of lies this big.
- Be wary of people catching you working. For instance, if your family drives past your workplace on the way home from church on Saturday and they see your car outside, your lie is over. So consider your options; you could bus to work, catch a ride or you could park your car a block away and walk the rest.
- While this may seem extreme to some, there are some readers whose loved ones might even come to check up on them if they suspect they are breaking the Sabbath. If you are in this position, again, get creative. Firstly, hide your car. Then, if your shift ends at 5pm on Friday, don’t leave immediately. Wait half an hour or so. If your loved one see’s you not come out of the office at 5pm, they will most likely drive away happy. You could also slip out a back door. If you want to stay silent and hidden, you have to pre-empt these things if your situation demands it.
How to explain leaving your job
Your co-workers, family and friends will want to know why you chose to leave your job. For most Adventists, even conservative Adventists, they will not be inherently suspicious that you chose to move on if you have an excuse. But if you come from a sect within the church and you had been given a job by another SDA, then you are going to come under fire. Either way, you need to have a good reason on-hand as to why you chose to leave. Here are some suggestions:
- You wanted a job that paid more money (if necessary, you could say that you wanted more money because you are saving up money for a mission trip, or some other sort of ministry project) – even if your job doesn’t pay more, you can lie and say that it does.
- You wanted a new challenge.
- You wanted a job less stressful.
- You were having issues getting along with your co-workers.
Keep in mind – getting a job with non-SDA’s will help you expand your social network outside of the church, so while it is scary, it is very beneficial. Work hard to make new friends. If you don’t feel comfortable drinking, that is OK, not everyone in the world drinks all the time!
Please help – I come from a very insular sect, and I don’t know where to start in finding a job
Unfortunately, I am not qualified to help you with this. If you come from a very insular, no-ways-about-it cult offshoot of the SDA church then you will know what I mean when I say that normal social interaction is difficult. You will need to seek professional help when it comes to this. I suggest you see a counselor, tell them about your situation and then let them refer you to a psychologist. By law, they are required to keep your information private.