Thursday, March 12, 2009
Acquiring Gainful Employment
Most of the students with whom I will be graduating have a couple of goals, one of which is typically to “acquire gainful employment.” At least that’s what a lot of resumes seem to be saying. Perhaps this is more of a long-term goal for some, with some sort of post-undergrad schooling yet to complete, but for me and many others, it is a current short-term goal. I will graduate in May with a Bachelors in Speech Pathology. This will require me to eventually go on to graduate school to get my Masters if I want to practice Speech Pathology, but I am planning on taking a year off to regroup before doing that. Besides, I haven’t had time to apply to graduate schools yet! So I’ve joined the ranks of Americans seeking gainful employment.
In my search for work, I talked with my advisor about some possibilities she might know of. I want to work somewhere where I can be made useful and where I can interact in meaningful ways. I cannot practice as a Speech Pathologist, and honestly, I want a bit of a break from that so that I can be sure it’s what I want to do. I know that might sound a little backwards, but I need a breather before I take the plunge, if you’ll allow me a terribly corny metaphor.
So I dusted off the resume I was required to make in 12th grade and realized it was horribly out of date and not very professional looking. I recreated it and then took it in to Calvin Career Services for a free one-on-one resume critique (shameless plug, I know, but it was really helpful so they earned it!). I chose two places to send my resume and application to: Calvin’s Center for Social Research and Pine Rest, an organization whose mission statement says that they are “called to express the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by providing behavioral health services with professional excellence, Christian integrity, and compassion.” I received a prompt “thanks but no thanks” from the Center for Social Research, and a form email thanking me for my application to Pine Rest; they’d let me know if any jobs opened up and they were interested in speaking with me. So initial feedback looked a bit bleak. I wasn’t really surprised, because I know people who have been looking for jobs for months now and finding nothing more than fast-food work, which, quite honestly, I would rather not do. I like food too much to want to ruin it that way!
However, my prospects turned rosier about a week later when I received not one but TWO calls from Pine Rest inviting me to come in for an interview! Turns out they only had one opening and had some wires crossed about who was supposed to call, but it was still flattering. So I had my first real interview, which lasted a good two hours. At the end of my time at Pine Rest, I was encouraged to pray about the job and discuss with friends and family whether I really wanted to take it. The position is to work full-time with developmentally disabled adults, which can be draining I am sure. Pine Rest would rather not have someone take on the position lightly and then back out a month or two into it. I was told to expect to hear from them by the end of the week.
Well, the end of the week came and went, and no call. Feeling disheartened, I called them, prepared to be told that they did not in fact have a job that they wanted to offer to me. Instead, I was thanked for my call and asked when I could come in for training! Surprise! So tomorrow I have a drug test (I promise I will pass, Mom - no worries there), a TB test, and the first segment of my training. I feel so honored and humbled that I was selected to have this job, and I hope that I will be able to lovingly serve the people with whom I will work. I also hope that everyone is as blessed as I am to have friends and family who say encouraging things and assure you that they have no doubts of your abilities. To be honest, I did not expect to get a job so quickly, regardless of my friends assuring me that I would. So to everyone out there looking for a job, success can happen! I feel secure that this is the plan God had set out for me for the coming year. It all fell into place so neatly and easily that I can hardly see how it could be anything else but providential. Perhaps I am a Calvinist after all.