Posts Tagged ‘Job search’


My core values create the lens I view all aspects of my life through. I am also one that takes in information, critically analysis and through a philosophical discourse pragmatically chooses courses, paradigms and strategies for life, and vocational work. For some they watch me as a result and say that I can appear rudderless, no, I know that any course can do with correction, and if a course is leading me down a path that does not fit with my core values, it is time to disengage, and chart a new course.

I was on a course that seemed set for this 2/3 of my life. A great vocation of helping folks find homes, authentic belonging, my work was rewarding and had allowed for my family to build our own life and home in our simplicity.  Then late 2017 unknown seizures started. Over time, testing, working with professionals, and many times when my family wondered if I would wake up the next morning, or live through the next seizure…a diagnosis and plan was arrived at– PNES due to A-Typical PTSD. The course was charted, and worked through to a cure. For the cure to stick, another course correction was put forward for me as I seek to re-enter the world of work, a new path needs to emerge.

Image result for arlene dickinson reinvention book"It is reinvention. Which is during this path of renewal, seeing how my skills, education, knowledge and wisdom can create a new beginning for me…that thanks to the public library I would be blessed to read a copy of Arlene Dickinson’s (2019) Reinvention book. Which truly is not astounding for what it is writing about, it is one of many in the genre this Dragon Den’s host has added her voice to, but it aligned with some of my own thoughts. For me the metaphor used during this time was the interior castle or mind palace collapsing upon itself, and rebuilding with universal design to come back stronger and better than ever– just needing to discern the next path to making this corner of my world a little bit better.

The very tangible metaphor and experience she used to shape the re-envisioning of her company and path to align fully with her passion and core values (note strategic thinking and planning are not what shapes values, it is rather through the lens of our core values we shape how the strategic plan is refined and implemented for our own life, our vocation, our organizations/companies, etc). For her it was the 2013 historic Calgary Floor and the journey of reinvention and pragmatism that this brought (I was a part of the largest homeless serving shelter in North America that the city had no plan to evacuate but our leaders planned and we evacuated and reconstituted, my team was responsible for getting to our housed residents and helping them out while the waters receded– it was amazing to see our city live its core values).

This is the reflections as I pound the keyboard and pavement seeking the next step. Getting an opportunity to discourse and meet amazing people whose passion and values are fueling their work, and discern if I am to be a part of that mission or if another one is going to fit.

It is the journey that is as important as the destination, and what we discover about ourselves and those around us. During this time some relationships have reached their natural conclusions, some have ended under duress of the journey of pain and healing, some have ended for the health of my self and family…and some…are simply only tied to one vocational track, and as such evaporate when the track is no longer there. These endings are all healthy, for those that remain each day and each step are like a new beginning as they get to meet the new me, the me that is going to be defined vocationally in this second third of my life by a whole new adventure.

Blessing and opportunities…2020 is a mystery box waiting to be opened.

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As the journey unfolds it comes time to seek a new path. Wow, that sounded uber eloquent, and it causes me to reflect on the writings of Henri Nouwen I have dove back into during this time of transition. Nouwen was an acclaimed priest, and Harvard academic when he shares the story of a man showing up at his office and sharing that Jean Vanier sent his greetings. Nouwen assumed that was all, no, Vanier was there to meet with Nouwen. It was a meeting that would lead Nouwen to serve in the L’arche community of Daybreak in Toronto. L’arche is a community, a home, for persons with disabilities (core members) and their staff (assistants). Nouwen faced backlash and an inquisition about stepping out of the high life of acclaim and academic celebrity to join L’arche. To choose passion and home, over ego.

Why does this resonate? I reflect on this as I seek out my new vocation. See, I tend to apply for front line roles. Yes, I hold many degrees, have been everything from a director to a manager to front line staff to an author to a speaker to an international teacher… yet there is something about the one to one work that always appeals to me.  The human resources lens resumes are put through (if they make it through the computer algorithm) looks at a resume of mine, and says:

  1. Overqualified.
  2. We cannot afford him.
  3. He will become bored and leave.

What is missed though is some simplicity.

  1. I am qualified. I have a passionate drive to make my own little world of the corner better, to create a good quality of life for my family and for those I serve. My degrees and experiences have grown out of opportunities to learn and grow to better SERVE the person before me. To journey with them to learn and discover alongside them becoming who we are both meant to be.
  2. You can afford me. It is quite simple, if I am applying or discussing joining your organization, I have done the household budget number crunch for what you are offering to pay.
  3. Retention is about the health of the organization. Each role is a piece of the journey. When I was hiring for teams I looked for diversity, and qualifications, I celebrated when someone with quite a bit of experience and education applied regardless of the role because that wisdom then became part of the team pool. Staying within an organization is about the organization being a place where team members and what they bring to the table is honoured, where there is an understanding that having a diverse team of experiences and educations is a firm foundation to build the now on, but also to build forward and create a strong pool for earned leadership within the organization regardless of title.

It is not about passion over money, both can come and go. It is about where one places the emphasis for their vocation (career) trajectory. What is the core value pushing it forward? Is it climbing a ladder and claiming titles? Or is it simply creating ripples that make a world better? Both-and are possible, and sometimes it is either or, but like Nouwen deciding it was time to shift gears to Daybreak, sometimes that resume that appears to good to be true in the incoming applicants is entirely, and simply, an application for the role.

My wife says, it is an inherent trait of mine to live what I believe and it can be counter-cultural. I wonder how better our world would be if it was simply cultural?

Yes, my family is now on a new trajectory. I send out feelers and resumes, and ponder if an organization will risk to call and a new journey will begin. . .