I have a job interview scheduled for Monday. I'm trying to be confidant and optimistic without getting my hopes up too far. I'm pretty sure I'm a strong contender for the position, but there's no telling what my competiton is. I don't want to be cocky about it no matter how perfect the match seems to me. Also, I don't want to set myself up for bitter disappointment if I am not chosen for the job. But whether I am the candidate of choice or not, I haven't entirely decided whether I will take the job if it is offered. I KNOW that I want them to pick me, so that I will have the option available to me if I choose it. Still, I do not know whether I will pick them. Most confusing of all, I'm not even entirely sure what criteria to base the decision on.
There are things about my current job that I like very much. There are things about it that I like not at all. Isn't that the way it is with most jobs?? However, no matter what the good, the bad or the ugly...my job is like a container of yogurt with a set expiration date. I work for a particular grant that is going to end next year. So some time between now and then I will need to find a new position. I'm not opposed to sticking it out where I am to the very end of the grant. But I also have no sense of obligation to do so. If I find the right match with a new job that meets my needs and will be more permanent, I'd be a fool not to take it.
So I've been giving quite a bit of thought to what I want from a job and what I am willing to give. .
I've done a lot of different things in the past. PRE college I had the usual assortment of crummy jobs that I endured to pay the bills: phone solicitor, factory worker, dishwasher, clerical. I once was hired to stand outside of a health spa with a sign advertising their special promotion, waving at cars.
Since running the gauntlet of graduate school I've had different options... juvenile probation officer, HIV/AIDS intervention, crisis intervention counselor, consultant in a women's prison, adjunct college instructor, marketing director, training coordinator, survey research coordinator, executive director of a non profit where I managed a food bank, did homeless case management, protective payee services and more. So along the way I've picked up an eclectic assortment of skills and had some interesting experiences; But what next? What do I want the next chapter of my career to be?
Some days I think I'll just get some job that pays a living wage and plug away at it - believing that work is NOT my real life, it merely pays the bills so I can meet my temporal obligations as I follow my passions in other ways. But the reality is I spend more of my waking hours at my job than I do with the people I love or the projects I'm interested in. So I DO want my work to be something I can believe in and find meaningful.
I have no illusions that I'm going to go out and do grand things to change the world. But I do want to have a job that allows me to have a positive impact on the lives of the people I serve. In the end, the money is important, but is truly only a fraction of what keeps me motivated to pour my dedication into whatever work I do. I will do far more for personal loyalty to a boss I respect or commitment to a cause than I ever will for company bonuses.
So I'm praying for discernment as I go to this job interview, to be able to be sensitive to the cues people will give me that will indicate what sort of job this will be. I've had a couple friends tell me "if it is supposed to happen you will get the job, but if not then it simply wasn't meant to be." I don't buy that one bit. I don't really believe God cares what job I take. He doesn't give a rip if I am a plumber or a chicken farmer or a teacher or a circus ticket taker. I think all He cares about is how I treat people where ever I land and that I perform ethically to the best of my ability. I don't think there is any job out there that is my true destiny.
Still ... I know I am more suited to some sorts of work than I am to others. And I definitely know there are certain management styles I respond well to and some that I find abominable. I have worked for two or three remarkable people who were priceless gifts and a few fiends that taught me what to avoid. So I am considering all that as I prepare for this upcoming interview and considering my options. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.