Recently, I was re-visiting the book of Daniel and was led to some interesting insights from the marketplace standpoint.
In chapter 1 from verses 3 to 4, it mentioned that the king ordered to bring in some Israelites to serve in his palace and these were the pre-requisites: “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand.”
Lesson One- Outward appearance matters
I believe in this list of pre-requisites that the king was looking are similar qualities that our employers or bosses look for in promoting us or entrusting us for higher tasks.
Likewise, whether we are employees or not but as business-owners, we should strive to have this qualities as this would lead us towards upward mobility for higher influence.
Notably, physical appearance was highlighted by God citing that Daniel was handsome. Much to conventional christian thinking where heart is more important than looks, this provides an added perspective that looks do matter. If it didn’t, it would not have been included in this passage.
This means that as marketplace ministers, it is equally important that we pay attention to our outward appearance where we’re well-groomed. As people will normally judge our personality and character from our appearance, therefore we should dress to impress in order to impact positively.
I believe this is true as there have been many examples that I have personally witnessed where the boss did not appreciate the good work of his staff just because he (the boss) didn’t like his face or his style. Or how someone who dresses sloppily does not pass a job interview or sales pitch in spite of having a good portfolio.
Lesson Two- Attitude seals the deal
It was only after getting pass the physical test (as indicated by the order of pre-requisites), the king was then able to look further into the inward traits of desire for learning, being well-informed and quick to understand.
This clearly shows that we need to be people that keep learning and improving on the job. Employers are looking for people who display competence and a spirit of excellence that are ready and quick to produce and contribute to their ‘kingdom’ or organisation.
Having these inner traits speaks of forward-thinking people, who do not wait for things to happen, but make things happened because they see the things ahead that are coming their way. With their progressive intelligience, they are able to respond and not react to the changing market forces.
Like Daniel who was able to interpret visions and dreams, as effective marketplace people we should also be able to interpret the trends in our industry. For example, understanding the trends would help in identifying the opportunities that might be present ahead and to seize it before our competitors do.
This simply means that we also be thinkers who give solutions to problems and not merely doers with our jobs.
Conclusion- My personal prayer
Many of us usually hope to see changes in our results or outcome, but I have come to discover more and more than it begins with ourselves first. It begins in redefining who we are, and upping our commitment to ‘play the game’ in the marketplace as a professional.
Once our thoughts and attitude changes, our actions changes, and so do our results.
With these simple insights, I pray that I will avoid complacency at work by just meeting the basic expectations. I want to strive in exceeding the normal expectations by putting more effort in taking my work to another new level with God’s anointing.
I believe every word that is written in the bible is inspired by God, is meant to teach you and me invaluable lessons for living successfully.