This has been my first month volunteering full-time at the Cupboard. Another way to put it is my first month of being unemployed. A month ago on Friday, Oct 8, I was called into my bosses office where a lady on the phone from human resources told me that due to the economy my position has been eliminated. They offered me a severance package, for which I am grateful. And off I went to join the many others who have lost their jobs during this recession. ( Actually, I thought I heard on the radio that the recession was over 17 months ago. So I guess I actually lost my job during the “recovery”.)
As I said, I started volunteering full-time this past month. I have enjoyed the experience so far. I know that this might be an unbelievably strange thing to say, being unemployed. Believe me I don’t like being unemployed. In some ways I have not dealt with this reality yet as my financial situation has not yet hit me. But nonetheless, I don’t feel unemployed as I have been fully employed following my passion, Common Heart.
I had been experiencing what seemed to be burn-out during the months before being terminated. I was discouraged and tired. I seemed to just go through the motions. I did my best, but I had nothing left to give at the end of my work day. I hate to say it, but my family knows I had been very moody, short with them and others. I was quite easily agitated at home and with people “demanding” food. In August I nearly canceled the cupboard’s signature event, our Thanksgiving Turkey Countdown and deliveries. I hope you were not among those who got my voice mail during those days, as it was rather “put off-ish”. (Call it now, it is quite upbeat.)
Although the experience of being told that my position had been eliminated and that I was no longer needed was not pleasant, it has done wonders for my attitude. There has been only one morning when fear gripped my heart. It was short-lived. But other than that I have been full of energy and facing the wide open door of opportunity with confidence. In some ways loosing my job has been a relief to me. It really has opened my horizons to the possibilities. In the early part of my jubilee year this is exactly what my heart has cried out for, new horizons. Where once all I wanted to do was drop out, now I want to engage and see what God will bring to pass.
During the past month while volunteering I have been assessing my strengths, weaknesses, abilities, skills and desires as far as employment. I created what my wife thinks is an amazing resume showcasing what I can bring to a future employer in the nonprofit or for profit business world. I have been plotting and planning the direction for Common Heart. I have put my hands and my head to work at Common Heart and I stand in awe of what lies ahead.
I have been doing some job hunting. I realized that unless I return to commission sales, it is difficult to find one that pays similarly without a college degree. I do not want to return to commission sales. I want to bring my entrepreneurial spirit and my management, marketing, and communication skills to an organization I can be passionate about. And so, I have recently registered to go back to college to get further training and attain the degree that will more easily open doors that I have to pry open today.
This upcoming week I will attend a 10 hour course at Southern Piedmont Community College called Keyboarding, Resumes and Job Search. It is a free course in their Human Resource Development department. ( There are other free courses there and at any NC state college or university as well.) I will get to see if my resume is as awesome as my wife and I think. Beginning this Tuesday evening I will be attending a 4 session course at Central Piedmont Community College with a Common Heart board member entitled “From Grant Seeking to Grant Writing”. I am very excited about this. One of the things we have not been able to pursue at Common Heart due to lack of time, experience, and just plain bewilderment has been grants to help fund the vision of Common Heart. This seems to be the right time to look into this avenue of additional funding.
In amongst all this I have been catching up with friends and colleagues. I have been meeting new people. I have also been dreaming new dreams and pursuing new things that I will share in another of my notes along the way soon.