Job Taking – the Pros & Cons for Business as Mission

So what happens if God is calling you to a creative access nation (CAN), but you don’t feel like you’re an entrepreneur? 

You’ve been told that you need a professional identity so that you can stay & so that your identity will make sense in the country, but what should you do? 

You know you don’t want to start a business! You feel you are NOT equipped to run a business on your own. The idea of starting a business is your worst nightmare. 

So what are your options? 

If you want to live & do ministry in a creative access nation, there are a number of different options that you should consider. Starting a business is not your only choice. You could:

  • Take a job with a “secular company”
  • Take a job with an existing “BAM” company
  • Become a partner in an existing “BAM” business
  • Look for an NGO that is doing projects in your country
  • Obtain a retirement visa (if you fit the criteria)
  • Enroll in a school to get your student visa
  • Come & go on a tourist visa

In this article, we are going to focus on the the idea of taking a job.

Becoming a job taker

The first 2 options fall under the category of job taking. 

What do we mean by job taker? A job taker is somebody who finds a position to fill in a functioning business in their host country.

These are real jobs! 

Depending on your training and skillset, you could find a job as a teacher, engineer, nurse, consultant, accountant or any other profession where you are qualified to work. There are often businesses looking for excellent personnel, so why not apply?

As you saw above, job takers fall into two different categories. You can find a job with a “secular” company or you could find a position with a “BAM” business (created for a Kingdom vision).

Clearly there are different pros and cons for working for these types of businesses. 

“Secular” Business 

If you’re going to take a job with a regular secular company, you will get some tangible benefits. 

  • They offer a livable salary – most international businesses working in CAN countries pay very well.
  • Residence permits – the business will be responsible for obtaining your residence visa
  • Solid identity – there will be no questions about what you do in the country
  • Boldness – with a solid identity, you will most likely feel more comfortable sharing the truth

There are a few potential downsides to working for a “secular” business.

  • They own your time – You will be limited to your work contract schedule. You will have limited vacation & travel days each year.  This will make it harder to attend conferences or go on the normal home assignment. You will be bound by their contract.
  • Limited proclamation – Some employers may have you sign a document about not sharing your religious beliefs. You may be limited on what you can share during business hours & even outside of the business time. 

“BAM” Business

If you decide to take a job with a Kingdom minded company (BAM business), then you’re going to get a few clear benefits.

  • Shared vision & values – it is such a blessing to work with a company that has a desire to see Jesus preached to the nations.
  • Flexibility on time – usually Kingdom companies are a little more flexible when it comes to work time.  You can schedule your work hours around language learning or even discipleship times.
  • Flexibility on travel schedule – Most Kingdom workers will need to travel to conferences and home assignments. If you work for a BAM company, they will normally understand your desire to travel and give you the flexibility to do so.

There could be a few potential downsides to working for a “BAM” business.

  • Lower level pay – many BAM companies do not pay as well as secular companies. You can expect to make a lower salary and in some cases the salary will not make sense for the way that you are living. Others may question where you are getting the additional money to supplement your lifestyle (especially if you are used to traveling often and paying other expenses that are unusual to your host country). 
  • Visas may be harder – usually Kingdom companies can obtain residence visas, however it depends on the amount of capital and number of other “employees” on the books.
  • Identity could be weaker – you need to make sure you join a reputable BAM business because some businesses are know as “fake businesses”. This could be hard on your identity.

One thing for sure!

If you go and take a job, you’re going to want to make sure that you are a hard worker.  One of the big things that you bring to the table is your ability to produce work.  So you might as well come with a good attitude to be the best possible employee…to the glory of God.

So whether you’re going to work for a secular company, or BAM business, you want to make sure that you’re adding value and are not just a warm body.

So how can you prepare as a job taker?

The first thing that we would recommend to anyone looking to take a job is to try to get some experience, training or even certification in your future position.

If you are looking to take a job as an English teacher, invest the time, money and energy to get your CELTA certification. This will give you some credibility in your host country but also give you a little experience & confidence going into your new job.

We would also recommend that you get some experience in the field in which you are planning to work. I have known people who have volunteered for 6 months at a business in their passport country in order to gain valuable experience in their next job.

If you don’t know what type of job you will be taking, then we would recommend working on generic skills that will help you in any role. You could get training in management, marketing, sales, finance, time management or any other soft skill that will make you more effective at any job.

Remember, there are tons of resources online like Youtube or Udemy where you can learn helpful skills and information for any position. 

Basically, if you’re there to take a job, you want to be the best person at that job and help the company in the most effective way possible.

Taking a job is probably the way that most Kingdom workers will enter CAN countries in the future. It seems to be a method that is gaining traction, not only in the west but also for those coming from the majority world.

Seek the Lord! Ask him to lead you to the perfect job where you can develop relationship and create eternal impact. 

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