Before I pick up the ongoing story of my job search with my monster.com story, a little more about my resume and how being a pastor will or will not help it. I wrote this for the High Calling today.
While I was the pastor of Covenant Baptist Church, I had other jobs on the side. I designed websites, did internet consulting, and was a freelance writer. I left pastoring because I no longer had the passionate desire to pursue that calling. I spent a year prayerfully considering the move. When I decided to resign the decision felt right to me. It still does...
Once I decided to look for a 9-5 job, I entered a whole new world. And it’s not a world I’m very familiar with. The last time I had that kind of a job was 1989, when I was a chaplain at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. In the years since I worked for Covenant Baptist Church on a part-time basis and made my living doing a variety of other things. I’ve worked hard and have a lot of experience in a variety of areas, but it’s been a long time since I had to live and work in the corporate world.
I didn’t mention this, but the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was a medical issue with my middle daughter. We don’t have very good insurance, and, as usual, it’s not covered. Facing serious medical bills, I finally realized that I can’t keep stringing together a bunch of part-time gigs and consulting opportunities. I just can’t afford to live like this anymore. Financial stress is a bitch. I’ve lived with it for a long time. And I’m tired.
So, it’s a real job for me. And I’m excited about the possibilities. Rather than feel bad that I don’t know much about corporate life, I’m going to trust that I can figure it out. And hey, it will give me something fun to write about. As long as I’m careful and don’t get dooced, you and I could have some fun with this, right? RLP drops into the corporate world and tries to figure out how to survive there. It’s like a Foy story come to life.
The first order of business was putting together a resume. I called my sister in Houston and she said she would help me. I wrote a rambling little account of all the things I’ve done with my life and sent it to her. She called me back with some sobering news.
“Hey Gordo. (Only my sister and my dad are allowed to call me Gordo.) Okay first, you have to change the message on your mobile phone voicemail. That little thing you’ve got about how you don’t like voicemail and send you a text message instead? Anyone who calls you and gets that is never going to call you again.”
Damn, I’ve got to start checking voicemail again. Oh well.
“No problem. I’ll change it.”
“Good. Um, this stuff you sent me? We’ve got to reorganize it. No one wants to read all those details. We need it organized with most recent employment first. And short statements with clear verbs are what’s needed. Short statements about what you have done, highlighting your skills. I’m sending you a resume template.”
“And finally this. I don’t know exactly how to say this, but all those years you were the pastor of a church? They aren’t going to help you. And if the wrong person is looking at your resume, all this church stuff might actually hurt you.”
“It’s not that corporate people don’t appreciate the Church. It’s just that they don’t know how those skills will translate. They’re looking for someone who can help them and who has some skills. Don’t get me wrong, there might be some people out there who WOULD appreciate your ministry experience and know how it translates. What I’m saying is, if you’re submitting a resume online and don’t know who is going to be looking at it. You might want to de-emphasize it. Or just leave it off altogether.”
Wow. Just like that I find that 20 years of my life might not be all that helpful. Okay, so I’ll redo the resume thing. No problem.
Coming next: RLP meets monster.com.
I think this poem is wonderful. It combines beauty with deep thinking. In this case the deep thought is the fascinating idea that until a child takes its first bite, every ounce of her body came from her mother.
This thin gruel is your first step
toward strawberries warm from the sun
wedges of cheddar made from grassy milk
Macs and Cortlands pressed into cider
but once this spoon passes your lips
I have to curb mine from proclaiming
I made every ounce of exuberant you,
your chubby thighs and chipmunk cheeks...
Read the whole poem at Velveteen Rabbi.
Rachel, that was amazing!
I'm looking for a real job
A few years back I started writing short stories about a man named Foy Davis. He left the ministry for personal reasons and ended up working at a company called Babcock Wellman. Currently we don’t know what this company does. Foy is an editor of some kind.
I chose the name Babcock Wellman because I couldn’t get the cadence of Dunder Mifflin out of my mind.
Anyway, funny how life sometimes imitates art. First I resigned from my position as pastor. And now I'm looking for a job.
I have been tempted over the years to see if writing and this blog could support me. I’ve given up on that idea. There are a number of people who contribute to the upkeep of this blog with monthly gifts. Those are greatly appreciated.
So, I’m officially looking for a job. Yes, Real Live Preacher is looking for a bona fide, 9 to 5, get-up-in-the-morning-go-to-work-and-come-home-at-the-end-of-the-day job.
That come home at the end of the day thing is kind of appealing to me right now. For the last 15 years I’ve been juggling pastoring, writing, web design, and corporate social media work in a variety of part-time gigs. I wouldn't dare count how many hours a week I’ve worked because if I saw the number I’d probably faint.
The big question is: Can a guy like me with a lot of varied experiences and a strange mix of skills, who has virtually no experience working for a company in a 9 to 5 setting, find a decent job?
Good writer. Good speaker and preacher. Self taught html web designer. Managed servers. Good photoshop and graphic skills. Artistic mind bent but oriented toward computers (INTJ). Thinks he is something of a social media expert. Developed a successful social media publishing project. Good with CMS systems (Drupal and Wordpress).
We’ll find out. My sister in Houston has a Human Resources consulting company. She’s been in HR for years and worked for some big companies. She’s helping me put together my resume.
Wish me luck,
Your hands are two personal valets that wait on you with absolute commitment. They perform all of your mundane tasks with tender care. Tying shoes, buttoning shirts, brushing your teeth, and fixing your hair. Fluffing, patting, retrieving, holding, scratching, feeding, and soothing. Before you even know what you want, they spring into action. Your wish is their command.
And they said you can’t get good help anymore!
It takes about five years to break in a pair of hands. At first they wiggle and grasp clumsily. Soon they learn to guide food toward your mouth, help you dress, and pull colorful things close to your eyes. Years six through ten are hard on the hands. You know how to use them, but you foolishly send them into harms way. Hands and fingers sustain a lot of injuries in those years. By the time you are fifteen, your hands have worked out most of the tasks they will do for you. All of your gestures are in place, and even your handwriting – such a telling and personal thing – has taken its final form.
After that it’s just years and years of faithful service...