Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

God blessing me in my work

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I haven't written in so long because I've been doing so MUCH writing for a course in U.S. Health systems that I just finished.  But I wanted to take a chance to reflect on how God has blessed me in the area of work lately.

I've lamented at length here about my prior job's challenges and ultimate job loss.  But, since that time God's provided in some unexpected ways.

Prior to my last job I'd been out of work for awhile.  In an effort to obtain work I'd put my resume out there through a few venues as well as applied for more jobs than I could count.  During that time an executive director (ED) of a small human services company had contacted me. This ED's name was Carl and he and offered me a job that was the same occupation I'd had when I'd been pregnant with my youngest son (who was born in 1994).  Since I didn't have any offers coming my way I'd accepted.  I'd worked for them for 10 months prior to going to work for my last job.  My last job had only allowed me 1 1/2 weeks before I had to start.  Since I had not wanted to leave this company in a lurch I'd worked something out to work part time for them for a month after I started my last job.  By working nights and weekends for them I was able to get all the necessary paperwork accomplished, be available on call to staff , and not cause my boss any extra work while she was working to fill my position.  Every day that I worked there I was stunned by what a nice group of people they were.  This particular operation was owned by a larger company and I liked several things about the larger organization; mainly their commitment to the people they serve. But I'd felt like it was a step back since it was the same job I'd held many years ago and the pay was very low.

When I found myself out of work again recently I got back on the job application tread mill.  The economy must be a bit better now because I was receiving job offers.  But they were all for terrible paying jobs.  One day the thought came to me that if I were going to be paid poorly I'd rather work for that last job again because I really did like and miss them.  So I went on line and applied one morning and by that afternoon I was called in for an interview.  During the interview Carl told me that as far as he was concerned they had an opening for the same job type that I'd left and I could have it.  But he also told me about a potential job opening.  The larger company was in the process of merging his operation with another one.  The ED of that company was going to become a program manager who would be equal to my old boss.  Carl would be the ED over both businesses.  At that point both of these business would have became one operation.  The larger company was doing this because they'd received a rate cut that was retroactive and a terrible financial blow.  Merging these two businesses would allow them to only have the costs of one central office, merge some jobs, and delete a few positions.  These actions would save the company money.  Carl had told me that there was a strong chance that the other ED who would be becoming a program manager may leave.

So I swallowed my pride and went back to work for them.  Everyone was wonderful.  I'd been gone two years and they welcomed me back.  I worked hard to catch up and remember how things were done or learn the new ways things were being done.  Due to the merger my boss, the program manager, was so busy that she didn't have time to spend training someone.  I kept assuring her that she didn't need to take time for me and generally tried to be an asset.  They seemed glad to have me on board.  The pay was still low but I reminded myself that low pay is better than no pay.  The pay was enough to just cover all my needs.  I chose to focus on all the things I enjoyed about the job each day and to speak words of gratitude.

The demoting-from-executive-director-to-program-manger person did quit the job.  As is company policy the program manager position was posted internally and two others besides me applied.  One of the people who applied is a man who has worked for the company for more than 10 years.  I'd gotten to know him a bit when I'd worked here previously.  I respect and love him as my brother in Christ.  I felt conflicted because in some ways, even though I have a considerably better resume, I felt that he deserved the job because he has been there so long.  So I prayed; not that I would get the job but that God's will would be done.  The day before the decision was to be announced I made the opportunity to talk to this brother in the Lord that was also applying for the same job as me.  I explained that I admire him and think he's good at his job.  I shared with him that I'd told my mom that I couldn't pray that I get the job because I think so well of him; that I was instead just praying for God's will in the situation.  He seemed surprised at my candor.  He then told me about how he'd just that morning removed his bid for the job because as he'd prayed about it, he had not had a peace.  He felt like God was not leading him to that job.

I got the job and with it came a 34% increase in pay.  It still only pays about half of what I made when I was a nursing home administrator but few jobs pay as well as that did for me, especially in this economy.  The pay more than meets my needs.  I'll be able to help my two sons who are in college even more than I have. I'm grateful.

I'm especially grateful because I actually look forward each day to going to work.  I used to be that way about my work.  But in my last job, and during that year at the one facility where I was a nursing home administrator last, I struggled.  I kept trying to speak out the things that were good about my job and to practice gratitude, but it was difficult. Both were terrible experiences in many ways.  But I did learn a lot in both situations.

But today I rejoice!  Not because there aren't any difficulties at this job - there are always difficulties.  But because I enjoy it.  Because my current boss Carl is supportive and positive.  Because my old boss who I liked so much is now my equal and we partner together.  I can sense her relief because my position makes hers a lot easier.  I want to do that for her because I think so well of her.   I also have the chance to mentor people who do the job that I used to do.  Training and mentoring are two of my most favorite job activities and I get to do a lot of both in this job.  I feel like I can use the gifts, skills, and experiences with which God has blessed me to be of help to others.

God has blessed me in totally unexpected ways in my work and I'm beyond grateful!

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