Recently I had a major decision to make. I had two very different paths open up to me. Today I made my choice.
At the college where I have worked for the past two and a half years there has been a bit of musical chairs going on. One of the upper administration types has submitted his resignation as he is going to a different college in California. My boss has been appointed interim in the position being vacated. So the powers that be were asking me to step up to my boss's job, being the Director of a major federal grant program. In many ways it was a tremendous opportunity, offering me more money, more responsibility, more autonomy... and a higher level of experience that could well lead to other opportunities in academic leadership.
But I was also being considered for an Executive Director position with a not-for-profit organization nearby that provides transitional services for recently released felons to help them have a positive re-entry into the community. That job paid substantially less and required a further commute. But it seemed like a spot where my particular skills would be a good match. I had some major reservations, but remained interested in the position.
I had one meeting with the executive board from the non profit and stayed in an ongoing dialogue with them about what that job involved. I knew that they wanted me pretty seriously. I also had a long heart-to-heart talk with my boss about the job he had to try to figure out whether I would want to take it over or not. I was fairly committed to wanting to complete some projects there that I had been on the ground floor of helping design. I kept going back and forth between the two trying to figure out which one would be the best.
I tallied up all the pros and cons of each job. There was no clear winner. I pondered and prayed and asked for discernment. I could clearly see how I could do good service in either position. I talked with several trusted friends, weighing the relative merits of both paths. I was still stumped. What's a girl to do?
Then today I was in a second meeting with executive committee from the Board of the non profit group. They had me review their financial statements, discuss their agency mission and guiding values, check out the office environment, meet some of the players. This was intended to be my final fact-gathering session. I had both offers clearly in my hands and just had to pick between the two.
I pretty much planned to spend the whole weekend thinking about it, praying about it, talking it over with my husband. But then, on an impulse, I decided not to do that.
I recognized than either way I went I could be happy. Either way I went I could make a positive contribution. Both jobs had some very definite advantages. Both jobs had some not-so-shiny aspects to them. I could spend the next two days agonizing over the relative merits and then forever second guess myself over whether I had made the right decision. Or not. So I decided to just leave it up to the universe to choose which path for me to take.
I turned to the gentleman who serves as treasurer for the non profit group and asked him, "Do you have a coin?" He looked at me sort of confused. They knew I had another job offer that I was trying to choose between. So I said to him: "Look, I am impressed with what you have shown me so far. But is that a better match for me than the position at the college? I'm just not sure. So we are going to flip for it. Call it in the air. If it lands how you call it I will accept this position. If it lands the other way, I'm going to stay at the school. You make the call."
They were horrified. They could not believe I would be so flippant about such a major decision. But I assured them I meant it. So he pulled out a quarter and flipped the coin.
It was tails.
I am now the new Executive Director of STAR Project.
They even let me keep the quarter.
They are convinced I am utterly nuts (which is probably true). But they are delighted to have me come on board and I feel at peace with it. Some might say it was foolish to abdicate responsibility for my choice in such a haphazard way. I, however, am entirely comfortable with it. Rather than worry and fret and agonize over whether I made the right decision or not, I'm simply trusting that God and the universe know more about what is best for my future than I do. It was my way of surrendering my need to control every aspect of my life. I was ready to let go and trust.
I know this will be a very demanding job and I have a HUGE challenge ahead of me. But I am ready to give it my best shot. On Monday I will give my two weeks notice to the college. I start my new job on August 1. Ready or not, here I come.