The Blog Returns: Finding my Dream Job

June 28, 2010

Hey everyone!  I’m glad to be back home and ready to fire up the blog again. 

Some of you may know that I’m looking for a new teaching job because I’m a bi-vocational pastor and my current job is a dead-end that I’m totally overqualified for.  Sadly, over the last couple of years, the selection has been pretty slim when it comes to the job market.  In fact, my vacation was punctuated by phone calls from principals rejecting me for jobs I applied for.  It’s not like these are high-profile jobs either, which kind of messes with your mind when you get repeatedly turned down for pretty basic jobs.

Anyway, in my never-ending search for better employment, I’ve decided to try a new tactic.  Most job seekers check out Craig’s list or they decide they want to follow in the footsteps of some famous person or role model.  I decided to look up some famous people, and see what jobs they held before they were famous.  Everyone knows that before Kurt Warner was winning the Superbowl, he was bagging groceries (and now after he won the Superbowl.)  But there had to be tons more stories I could try to replay in my life.  Maybe if I follow the same career path as some famous person, I could wind up in the same place as them in a few years.  Worth a shot, right?

I think I found five sure-fire ways to land a dream job.

Have a Powerful Parent

Turns out a bunch of people I could emulate aren’t completely self made.  A lot of them inherited some sort of platform to jump off of.  Pat Robertson’s dad was a Senator.  Rick Warren, Andy Stanley and Joel Osteen all have pastor parents.  Rob Bell’s dad was a judge.  Even Jesus wasn’t on his own!  He literally had a 2,000 year family history of religion and politics to jump off of, what with Dad being the founder of Israel and the creator of the universe.  I guess this career path is out, since I was born to remarkably average Midwesterners.  So I guess not being Oprah is something else I can blame my parents for.

Don’t Waste the Prime of Your Life

Seems all the biggest names in ministry had a revelation of what they were to do before they finished puberty.  Dr. Charles Stanley decided he would go into ministry at age 14.  Rick Warren dilly-dallied until age 19.  Pat Robertson galavanted around in the Marines, (not in combat), but then decided to go to seminary.  He did waste some time on his way to ministry, but then promptly founded the Christian Broadcasting Network once he graduated.  Wow.  I graduated seminary a year ago, and still have a pile of laundry on my floor.  He founded a broadcasting station out of thin air.  I guess God likes to bless people most in the 13-25 age demographic, and I already wasted that.

Get Physical

A lot of people who made it big started out with very physical jobs or hobbies.  Long before John Paul II was pope, his name was Karol, which sounds like a girly girl’s name, but apparently you wouldn’t want to meet his right hook from hell.  I hear the guy was a boxer, and a pretty good one.  So much for turning the other cheek.  Karol would turn your other cheek for you, Chuck Norris style.

Well since I’m not much of an athlete, I knew I probably couldn’t start TKOing third graders and expect to make it too far in the professional ministry.  The field of big-name pastors was drying up, so I decided to start looking for celebrities to emulate.

Things weren’t much more promising with the celebs.  Apparently, to get to where Christopher Walken is, you’d have to get your start as a lion tamer, albeit with a very old and lethargic lion.  Or if you’d want to star in such excellent James Bond movies as Goldeneye and such terrible Bond movies as Tomorrow Never Dies, you’d better get practicing on your fire eating skills.  I hear Pierce Brosnan still puts that on his resume. 

Take a Small Step

A lot of people got to where they are now by taking a job that wasn’t any big deal, but it got their foot in the door and pointed them to their true calling.  Ozzy Osbourne worked in a slaughterhouse.  I think he worked as a “chicken seperator” before the a machine was invented which could do the work of 10 Ozzies.  Mariah Carey worked as something called a “hat tester.”  I’d hate to see what a defective hat did to someone.  Maybe it causes the wearer to make a movie called Glitter.  Colin Powell worked in a baby furniture store.  You can practically draw a straight line from senior level crib and stroller advisor at Babies R Us to senior level military advisor to the President.  Practically the same job description.

Hmm…actually I can’t draw a straight line from Job A to B for most people.  Jimmy Stewart painted stripes on roads.  Brad Pitt dressed as a chicken for an el Pollo Loco restaurant.  Then Brad realized his sexiness was too much to be contained in a mere chicken costume, and Jimmy’s stripes impressed Frank Capra so much (he being a self-appointed stripe aficiondo), he was cast for Mr. Smith goes to Washington.  An unlikely turn of events to recreate…

Do Something Old Fashioned

Nothing is turning up promising yet.  I may have to try to create a new job for myself.  Maybe “goose wrangler” or “book washer.”  Or failing that, resurrect an old, obsolete job.  For example, back in the 19th century, Sean Connery worked as a coffin polisher.  Not quite what I was looking for.  But then I found a novel little job.  It was jolly old England’s 17th century version of the “wake up call.”  Someone would go around the neighborhood, knocking on doors to wake people up in the morning.  The job was called a “Knocker Up,” and his clients were said to get “Knocked Up.”

Sounds like a job that definately needs revival.  Everyone hates waking up to the sound of an alarm clock.  Who would choose a brash, noisy alarm to start the day, when they could get knocked up first thing in the morning?

I’ve already sent my new business cards to the printers.

Are you working your dream job, or are you still working your way up?  How did you get to where you are?  Did you have any unusual or impressive jobs along the way?

23 responses to The Blog Returns: Finding my Dream Job

  1. LMAO so i stumbled on this blog from Stuff Christians like and i must say i am loving it already. I’ve got 5 months left before i am out of my prime so i guess i best get to work!
    Please let us know if you get any responses to the new business card…oh to be a fly on that wall….

  2. Wow. I hate looking for jobs. I have been laid off three times in my life – the most recent a year ago.

    I’m not famous, but I worked at McDonald’s making fries and getting zits. I ran printing presses, worked in a chrome plating shop, did landscaping, built houses, did push ups for Uncle Sam, worked as a photo-finisher and dark room assistant, a photographer taught music, photography, and computers.

    In 1993 I was laid off from the photography studio after three years. Because the owner wanted to grow the business, he brought in a Christian team assessment consultant. He gave me the Myers Brigs, DISC and did some other stuff. It turns out, I was not qualified for my position, so I lost my job. A few months after the lay off, I called this guy up. We continued the assessment to see what type of job I would be best at. After 8 hours, he looked at me, and said, “I know the tests show that you should be a teacher, but I believe the Lord wants you to buy a computer – one with Photoshop. Computers are a changing environment – and that will keep your interest for a long time.”

    It was the word of the Lord. I had been making $13.00 an hour with a family of 4. I bought a Mac, took a 10 week class, and in the next 3 years, I made $1M which allowed me to fund my own mission trips.

    I have his name if you are interested.

  3. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Can’t remember who said that (Warren Buffet maybe?), but there’s a certain truth to it. The problem with a dream job is that once you get it, you’ll realize the grass will always seem greener somewhere else. Just keep Colossians 3:23 hovering in your head.

    And then there’s Colonel Sanders who started KFC at what? Age 75? but then that wasn’t THE Christian chicken.

    Not that I live vicariously through others mind you, but I still shop at Kurt Warner’s HyVee. Hoping a little of his mojo will rub off on me. After all, I still have 4 years of eligibility left for college football, right?

  4. Are you working your dream job, or are you still working your way up? How did you get to where you are? Did you have any unusual or impressive jobs along the way?

    Actually, not to punch you in the face Matt, but I’ve been applying for jobs for the past month and last Friday I finally got the editing job I really wanted. But I needed help to get it. My grandpa helped get me through the automatic system and two month electronic processing part.

    So I’m excited that I’m taking the right steps in order to be a writer. Just keep looking man, if anything get a part time job doing something so you’re out in public meeting people AND you’re making $ too.

  5. I heard a comedian say that the worst job he ever had was at a fire hydrant factory–you couldn’t park anywhere near the place.

  6. If you pursue what I suspect it is you really want to do, I think you’ll be tri-vocational for awhile. Which is okay.

    • Oh, I am tri-vocational! I still do a bit of freelance design work. So I guess I've got to get cracking on a quad-vocational career!

  7. Not working my dream job, don’t know if I can make it to my dream job and pretty much miserable in life as is. Keep praying for God to speak to me on the matter of my career but He’s in his Holy Radio Silence mode. So I keep making it through the day.

    • I hear you man. Sometimes, it's seemed like God doesn't care which way I go with my career. Honestly, there have been days where I've told God that if he doesn't make it clear what he wants me to do, I'm just going to do things my way. I think he's just been teaching me patience. I hope something comes up for you soon.

      • Maybe He’s already told you where to go with your career. I agonized over this same issue for years (see my blog from last week and finally realized that God was telling me to do what I loved, because He’d put that passion in me when He made me.

        • Yep, I agree. I know what my passion is. I need to be a teacher. I just can't get a good opening to really flourish at it. There are just jobs for assistant teachers, secretaries, and lunch supervisors. Plus, none of those jobs pay. After a Master's degree and a certification, I'd hoped just finding a job would've been easier. A few years ago, they were telling us that there was a huge teacher shortage and everyone was retiring. But then the economy tanked, and everyone decided not to retire. The jobs that do open up are given to people who know someone, so it's just a tough situation. But I know God will sustain me until something comes through.

    • Hey Jason – I’ll be praying for you. I really do have this guys number too. It might be the way out of your funk, and into your destiny.

  8. I worked as the personal assistant to the head minister/founder of an international ministry. Sounds awesome? Yeah, not so much. The job was an odd combination of boring work, long hours, no pay, and high stress (from the boss and office atmosphere…not so much the work).

    If the job wasn’t bad enough, quitting was even harder, since many tried to put it on me that it was my calling to do a boring, stressful job that they would never do in a million years.

    My last day was 2 months ago. And I got kicked out of the ministry shortly after quitting. I thank God every day. : ) And I’m not being sarcastic on that last comment. Now I’m enjoying the time off with my kids and husband. And looking forward to finding out my true calling.

  9. Boy do I hear you. I’m trying to get freed up for more ministry time and it’s quite the scary process. Hope you find what you’re looking for. Thanks for the smile today!

  10. I’ve given up hope of ever getting my dream job – wife and mother. Instead, I am pursuing my interest in event planning. I work as an event planner now but I don’t get paid anything near what I’m worth so I am quitting my job in a month and going back to college to complete a bachelor’s degree.

    I got here by falling into secretarial work at 22. I have also been a phlebotomist, an answering service operator, and a grocery store cashier.

  11. In my past, I’ve been an ice cream man, a pizza delivery man and the man who put metal tips on the end of electrical wire. None of them led to fame or fortune. But in some small way they all led me to where I am now. And that’s just trying to put God at the center of whatever I happen to be doing today!

    Good luck with your job search. I have no doubt that you’ll be a blessing wherever you find yourself.

  12. During the last recession for awhile at the same time I worked at a church, worked at a christian bookstore, entered parts numbers for a copier company, did graphic design for a couple of buisnesses and taught music lessons and the ocational photo / album cover gig and sometimes playing music for retreats / weddings and weird events. It can be a pain to have to do mulitple things at one time. I just reached a point where it all became funny because it was so crazy to try to keep track of. And it gave me great stories to tell. I figure for all of us those experiences will be a good chapter for our future books.

  13. I am blessed to have my dream job. I still have dreams for my job, but I would have to say I cannot imagine doing anything else. I am a Pastor’s Wife. It is not normally considered a job, let alone a job to be desired, but I love it! I was also a PK (pastor’s kid) and oddly enough I loved that too. I guess Jesus made me to like the “fish bowl”. I love our church (the people), I love our staff, I love our city. I am thrilled to teach and preach and hope to do even more.

    Both my husband and I had a number of not dream jobs along the way: I waitressed all through high school (loved it, would do it again), worked in a printing company in college until we took a job as youth pastors in a large church where staff wives were not allowed to work. That was an answer to prayer for us as we wanted to start our family. Our first church was small so my husband dispatched for the forest fire dept., substitute taught and coached girls volleyball. I cleaned houses, strangely enough most of my clients were also my parishioners! When my kids were pre-school age I worked at the school to earn their tuition. I have made and sold jewelry, sold make-up, whatever I could do to make money and still have time to pastor. My husband had a clear word from God when we came to Gilroy to “chase one rabbi” the church. So he hung up
    looking for other jobs and trusted the Lord. It was very tight for a few years, but God has been so faithful and has blessed us beyond our imagination.

    God will direct you, Matt. He will put you exactly where He wants you, doing exactly what He has created you to do. Hang in there.

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