All posts tagged Career Growth

Is A Condition Precedent Holding Up Your Life?

On New Years day, my husband and I went on a secret mission.  The purpose of said mission?  To buy two new bath towels, and to hide them from our children.

Let me show you what the old towels look like.

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That old, ripped towel sums up many things about 2012.  We had expected to move to a new house, but plans changed.  And we decided to put a few things on hold in the process.  When we move to a new house, then we will then buy new towels.  Not a day sooner!

Sometimes, we are so busy waiting for that “next thing” that we forget about right now.  And it doesn’t stop with old towels.  We create a condition precedent and use the excuse of “later.”

Most lawyers recognize a condition precedent as a term of art.  A condition precedent is “an event or state of affairs that is required before something else will occur.”  In practical terms, it means we can’t or won’t move forward until the preceding event takes place.  Here are a few examples:

As soon as the weather breaks, I will start walking again.

When I lose 15 pounds, I will buy a new pair of jeans.

As soon as I have more time, I will update my LinkedIn profile.

When the kids start sleeping through the night, I will get up early to pray.

I am saving that old bottle of wine until something really “special” happens.

Delayed gratification is one thing.  But sometimes we get locked into an artificial mindset that we cannot move forward absent a condition precedent.   Don’t get me wrong, condition precedents can be necessary before taking the next step.  But they can also be arbitrary and self deprecating.

The new towels may be a silly example.  But why should moving into a new house be a condition precedent to two new towels?  Who made that rule, and why shouldn’t it be broken? 

Author J.B. Wood sums it up well in his post, Five Life-Alterning Career Lessons for Young Professionals:  “What starts as “I can’t because I’m too busy” soon becomes “I can’t because there’s a new baby” or “Now there’s three kids.”

Go ahead, fill in the blank.  What’s your favorite condition precedent?

When ________,  then I will __________.

We have a God who makes all things new – the old is gone, the new has come!  2013 is here.  What are you waiting for?

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(Aren’t these new towels awesome!)


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Is Work A Four-Letter Word?

Do you approach your daily work with joy and purpose?  Or, has work become a four-letter word in your world?

Most days I actually like being a lawyer.  (I can already hear the lawyer jokes out there.  Bring them on!)  But I haven’t always viewed my work as a lawyer with purpose.  Just a few short years ago I was asking God, “Don’t you have something more important for me to do?”

Whether we work full time, part time, or inside or outside of our homes – work is a vital part of life.  Work is about being productive, being needed, and contributing to something bigger than ourselves. Continue reading →

How To Deal With A Sexist Jerk

A female lawyer recently complained to me about the sexist conduct of her male opponent.
“He is treating me like his secretary!  Right in front of my client!  I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life.  He actually asked me to make copies for him because his secretary was gone for the day.  Then he made some joke about how I’m young enough to be his daughter.  I wanted to slap him, but of course I had to keep my cool in front of my client.  But mark my words, when this case is over I am going to send him an email and let him have it!”

I listened with interest and shook my head.  I’ve been in her shoes before.  Too many times.  (In my early years of practice, I actually remember wanting a few gray hairs.)

She continued, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?” Continue reading →

Write Down Your Dreams

Sky Diving

Have you stopped dreaming?   Maybe you think it’s too late.  The “ship has sailed” and life as you know it is the only life there can be.

Let me guess.  Your closest relationships are a struggle.  People constantly disappoint you.  You carry the weight of financial obligations.  Your family is a blessing, but also a burden.   No time for yourself.  You can barely survive the daily grind let alone “dream” about the future.

Dare you dream?

Continue reading →

Has God Forgotten About Your Resume?


Do you wish you had a different job?  Do you think you are uniquely qualified – maybe even called by God! – to do something else?  

You’re not alone. 

I know, lots of people feel this way.  What’s the big deal?

Here’s the big deal.  Did you know that the Apostle Paul – arguably the most effective New Testament figure – likely had these same thoughts?

Check this out.

In Acts Chapter 22, Paul tells how he first responded when God told him he was going to be sent away to the Gentiles.

God:  “Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.”

Paul:  “These people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.”

Paul was probably thinking to himself:  Wait a minute, I’m uniquely cut out to work in Jerusalem, remember? After all, I have been an insider.  I know the ropes.  I understand the culture.  I have even walked in the shoes of those who persecute Christians.  I can make a difference right here!  I’m the guy to do it.

God’s response?  “Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”

Did God forget about Paul’s resume? 

After all, why would God send a highly-qualified insider out of his home territory to a place where he has nothing in common with the culture, geography, or religion of the people?

It’s like sending someone who has worked his way up Wall Street to run a soda pop stand in Ohio.

It’s like sending a Republican to Berkley. 

It’s like sending a surfer dude to the desert.

It’s like sending Pastor Eric from the Ivy League to North Dakota (and then to Ohio!)

You get the point.

Maybe you’ve even told God, “Hey, you must have made a mistake here.  I’m meant to do something much more important.  What about my resume?”

I’ve even wondered, does God just like to mess with us?  Does he like to pull a fish out of water? 

Or, like Paul, could it be that he has something bigger – maybe something even BETTER – for our futures? 

[This post was inspired by Pastor Eric’s 8/28/11 sermon at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church.  You can download it here.]