April 27, 2012

Some Changes

Well, yesterday I ended up staying home so that I could have my plumbing leak fixed. While I was waiting on that little ditty, I spent some time working on my computer, and in getting myself organized online. I have been through four computers in the last four years, and each time, I copy only those files I really need to save. I keep my school work, for example; and my photo albums, but most of the other files are lost forever. This losing files has taken it's toll on me. So much of my life was spent on the computer, part home and part work, it was all intertwined. I feel like I have lost a big part of me, and that what was left over, was just getting by. It was almost like I was a visiting tourist who was on a bus, taking only the clothing he/she needed for the time she was going to be gone from home.

So yesterday, I configured my Mac to be more like my old PC. I know, heresy, but in reality there were just certain programs I missed using, and certain applications that I relied on for my daily comfort and workability. I installed Firefox for my browser, and then added Thunderbird for my email client. I also found free versions of software to replace my FTP needs as well as my HTML developing options. Someday soon I will purchase Adobe CS6 and then use both Photoshop and Dreamweaver for my design work; but for now, I am content with what I have installed. I am starting to feel comfortable again.

I also spent some time planting flowers around my front door. I used to have a large flower garden when I lived in the more moderate climate of San Jose, CA. In AZ, it has been a constant struggle for me to grow anything, but I have been quite successful at keeping a geranium alive and well near my front door. A friend of my parents gave them some geraniums in pots, and my Mom didn't want to keep them all. I repotted a couple, and the rest just spruced up with some petunias and lobelia. I think my front door looks lovely. I would still like to get a different wreath, something with brighter colors, and perhaps more pink and white. I am happy with the result.

I also spent the day revisiting my job and career path to see what options exist for me. I have been actively looking for a different job since the end of February. So far, no real response from recruiters, etc. I have had two opportunities to update my resume, but other than that, it is just me applying (again).

A friend next door to my parents suggested I look at Cox Communications, as they are hiring in our area. I applied to Cox last year, but never heard from them. I looked on their website, and while they do have a lot of jobs available, none are a good fit for me. This started me thinking about what kinds of work I am suited to do. I mean, not that I am that picky -- oh my goodness no -- but rather it is a matter of my age, my experience, and what I am physically able to do at this point in my life. I am unwell physically, this is a given. I struggle with Chronic Fatigue as well as chronic back pain. I cannot stand all day, and I cannot sit all day. I need movement, and I need a flexible schedule. I also need to be in control of what I am doing, to believe in what I am doing, and to be committed to it.

I like my job as an Education Advisor. I had hoped that I could be promoted next year into a different kind of position, potentially back into web/graphics or marketing. I also hoped that I could move into Academics, so that I could work in curriculum design. These are great jobs, and I thought I would like them -- now though -- I am rethinking that entire path.

My issues are really this: I like working for myself. I like having the freedom to come and go, and to work very hard for short periods of time. I like the downtime that comes when the job is completed. I like to work on my own, and at the computer. I like to know that I can start my day at 6-7-8-9 in the AM or wait until the evening to do what needs done. Yes, I never liked working 24/7/365. I never liked working the weekends and feeling the pressure to go round the clock. I didn't like that I didn't get a paycheck. I didn't like not having benefits and insurance, and all the things that go with being self-employed.

As I consider what I am suited for the following options appear likely:
  • Teaching - I can teach. I have taught adults over the years, and I have been told that I am a good teacher. I can teach children as well. Do I love teaching, am I called to teach? No. I like it, and I can do it, but it is not my calling. I know this now.
  • Computers/Technology - I have worked in this industry for 25 plus years. I know it well, and I am very comfortable with technology. I have performed repair, worked as a technical support rep, etc. Do I like doing this kind of work? No, not really. I can do it, and I am good at it, but I find the tedium boring. I am not called to be a programmer nor am I called to be a website designer or any other type of designer.
  • Marketing/Sales - I have worked in sales support off and on for the past thirty years. It is something that comes very easy to me, but I really do not like it. I like supporting others, but I don't like cold calling or outside sales. I am not a salesperson, even though I have been told I am really good at selling. I think I am good at selling what I consider valuable and worthwhile -- but not good at selling just any item or service.
  • Lastly, I am very good at Administration. I am a details-oriented person, and I am really good with numbers and data. I am not an accountant, but I am good with databases and I enjoy working with numbers, reports, charts and graphs. I like being responsible for outcomes, and I like to solve problems. I am very good -- and in every job I have held -- my ability to administrate is what shines. Therefore, the best job for me is to be an administrator. The key is to administrate something I value, I believe in, and I can support.
Now that I understand this aspect of my abilities, I am better able to hone in on jobs that work well for me. My job at the University is 30% administration, with almost 70% sales. I have been very successful in my job, and no doubt, with continued efforts I would see great sales numbers. However, I don't like the sales part, and I prefer to spend my time administrating my work. I am highly effective when it comes to administration, and my lead base shows it -- almost 30% out of policy on a base of nearly 4000 leads. That is impressive, and I am enrolling an average of 5-10 students per month. So -- I like my job when I can sit at my desk and administrate, but I don't like it when I am cold-calling or prospecting. This is sales, and that is something that makes me shudder.

I liked being in my own business when I could administrate my clients needs. I managed a Unix server for about three years, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that I was responsible for the server, for email, and for creating web accounts. This part of the job was fun for me. I also enjoyed creating graphics and making websites. I liked the creative part of that job. What I didn't like was selling my services and putting myself on the line to be judged. It was always like asking someone for their opinion on your work. It was very hard for me to take the criticism.

The negative of being in my own business was relying on someone else to sell my services, and on never really seeing a paycheck. This was just poor management on my part, and an unwillingness to take control of the business.

As I lay all this out, I realize that my spiritual gifts lay in this realm. First of all, I do have the gift of Administration. It is my one real helping gift. I am to use it for the Church, and over the course of my life, I have done this well. I have been a Children's Director, and Awana Director. I have managed upwards of 150 adults and over 500 children per week. I have also administrated the program, making sure that the weekly meeting ran smoothly. I loved doing this, and I loved the responsibility of being the "go to" person. What I didn't like was dealing with Church politics, and having to handle personal disputes between workers (personalities and such). But, that aside, I loved being a Church Administrator.

My other Spiritual gifts are personal and are for my own development, though in time, they will be used also to build up the church. My main gift though is as an Administrator, and this is the most comfortable area for me to work in.

Now that I have this all detailed, the key is to find a job where I can be an administrator over programs and resources. This is the "best" place for me. I am not a people-person, though I am very social and outgoing when I have to do it. I prefer to work in quiet, and I prefer to be in front of the computer and do my work as I think it should be done. Is there a job out there that would allow me to do this kind of work? Do I work for a Church? Do I work for a business? Do I work for myself?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for helping me to see what kind of work suits me best. Thank you also for helping me to see that over the course of my life, I have used my spiritual gift, but not always as the primary area of my job. This has been why I have always felt deflated in the work itself. I now see that for me to feel positive and know that I am doing what you want for me, I need to be using my gift 100% of the time. I am asking you to bring me the opportunity to administrate a business. Whether it is my own or someone else s, please provide a way for me to use my giftings to bless others and to bring blessing to my family. I realize that the only way I will be satisfied in my work is to being doing the work I am most suited towards, and to do that, I need you to provide a job to me. I ask this now in Jesus' Name, Amen.

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