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.
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?