Kids, I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been looking for a new job for several months. Almost a year, really. Well, I guess I’ve made it no secret on this blog and to my close friends and family. It’s not as if I’ve going to my supervisor and shouting, “I need a new job!” But she has been aware for a while that, while I do enjoy being a counselor and working with kids, I would prefer to find a career that allows me to stay a little closer to home. Not because I get homesick, but because I get carsick.I don’t actually get carsick. I’m just sick of driving all the time. And that’s what my job began to feel like. Granted, I’m not literally driving all the time. It’s not like I’m a trucker who literally spends weeks or months on the road at a time. I only have to deal with an hour long commute. And now I feel kind of bad for complaining when I look at it all from that perspective. You know what? No. Don’t take this away from me, truckers. I’m allowed to feel the way I feel and I feel exhausted from driving so much.
Anyway, to properly tell this story, we need to back up a few months. We could go way back to when I was applying and interviewing for new jobs left and right. That sounds like I went for more jobs than I actually went for. I interviewed for four jobs. But I didn’t get any of them. Maybe it was just a sign that I’m not the child prodigy that my parents led me to believe at such a young age. Whatever the case, it was discouraging.And then summer came along and I discovered that I would not have to work and still get paid. So I stopped looking for a job. Why look for a new job where I would have to actually do work to get a paycheck when I could sit around on a beach? The beach thing only happened for a couple days this summer, but you get the point.
But that doesn’t mean my radar wasn’t still on. And a few months ago, my church began advertising a position titled “Creative Content Director.” It piqued my interest, but that’s all. I didn’t even consider going for it because I already had a job with the church. My plate was already pretty full (during the school year, anyway) with counseling at the school and working part-time as the Children’s Ministry Assistant. I knew there was no way I would be able to take on something else. So I put it out of my mind as I helped the church advertise the position through our weekly e-newsletter.
Then, a few weeks ago, it was suggested that I seriously take a look at the position. So I did. The job description sounded like something I was interested in doing. In fact, it sounded a lot like a marketing position, which I had been thinking of branching out into if I were able to get away from counseling. As the Creative Content Director, I would be in charge of posting news articles and blogs to our church’s website and would work to increase our social media presence. I can’t say that I’m 100% social media savvy, but it sounded like it would be a great way to learn.I met with Jeff, our lead pastor, and we talked very seriously about this position and what it would entail. He also suggested that, should I be the one to take over the role, I would also take over another area of ministry that would be right up my alley with my counseling background. If you’re keeping count, this would mean that, on top of Children’s Ministry Assistant and Creative Content Director, I would add a third role as the supervisor of our Stephen Ministry. This is a ministry that provides an opportunity for people to meet with someone who is trained to listen as they unload their problems. It isn’t really a counseling service, as none of our volunteers are necessarily licensed counselors.
That last one is very new to me. I haven’t been involved with our Stephen Ministry in the past, so I would definitely need to learn all about it. But I felt like I would be equal to the task. And I actually got excited about this thing happening.
Weeks passed while Jeff and our leadership board worked to figure out if we could make this happen. Meanwhile, the school year was about the start back up. I was contacted by my supervisor and asked to meet so we could touch base about the summer and the beginning of the new year. I was scheduled to meet with her on a Tuesday afternoon.
That Tuesday morning, I met with Jeff again and he let me know that it was all going to work out great for me to take on this 3-in-1 position. I still don’t really have a new job title yet. It’s hard to consolidate those three job titles into one since they’re all so different. Jeff has been referring to me as a ministerial Swiss Army knife. I like it. But it may be confusing if you were to read that in a church bulletin. “Aaron Peck – Swiss Army Knife… Huh?” Yeah, I’m not MacGyver.
So I was ready to go in and quit. The meeting with my boss and her boss started out very well. Small talk was had regarding our individual summers. Then we got down to the brass tacks. She let me know that I was going to be back at the same school with which I had ended the year in the spring. See, there had been some question as to whether I may be transferred again. She asked how I felt about being back at the same school. “Well…”And then I told them. Believe it or not, they were genuinely happy for me. And, leaving on good terms means that I will be welcome back in the future, should I ever feel the need to return to the counseling profession.
It’s no lie when I say I love what I do. Yes, it can be the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done, working with these kids. But it’s also incredibly fun and rewarding. I like the challenge. It’s the drive that I didn’t love.
By the way, I did the math. Spending two hours in the car on my round-trip commute every day for 180 school days means 360 hours per year. That’s 15 days of driving every year. Just to and from work. What would you do if you suddenly had two weeks of your life back?
I think I’m gonna read more books. That’s what I’m gonna do.