Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Kingdom for a Horse ...

"A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse." At least that is what King Richard III says in Shakespeare's Richard III (this blog has really gone high brow if I quote Shakespeare). Lately though I've been thinking ... "A job! A job! My kingdom (or farm) for a job!" The cold hard reality is that the farm is not ready to carry itself quite yet and it might not be ready for some time. As much as I would love to just throw myself into it and give it a go there just isn't enough money in the back to tide it over until things get up and going to the level it would need to be at. So I need a job ... a decent job ... in the area where the farm is ... that will allow me to keep farming at least on some level (if I want to keep the farm going).

Right now that seems like the tallest order possible. Obviously it is not the best job market out there right now, and finding a job that is in my area and provides enough financial stability with my Associate of Arts degree is proving more difficult than I had hoped. For the previous ten-and-a-half years I have done basically the same job ... working in ministry with students (both in church's and at a boarding school). To be completely honest though my biggest struggle is trying to figure out how my past experience translates into a job in the secular world.

There is me ... being brutally honest. I guess what I'm saying is if you have any tips, suggestions, job searching ideas, leads, snide remarks, or help of any sort I'm open and willing to take it all! This is something that I've never experienced before (and yes I understand that so many are having to deal with it ... and probably worse than I am) so I'm humbly asking for help.

Thank you all for your support ...

10 comments:

marian said...

Ethan, we feel your pain!

Erik's health is making it impossible for him to go to his little truck-stop job, and I need to go look for work. But there is nothing within a reasonable driving distance that pays little more than my transport there!

But it feels like the Lord has dropped something in my lap! A friend (sheep and cattle customer,actually) turned me onto a home-based business with a company that makes a life-saving nutritional supplement called Reliv. I think it is the only thing that will help Erik's body heal (the drugs he's taking certainly aren't) so he needs the goods anyway. If it helps him like we think it will, we'll add our testimony to countless others and that will help other people want to try Reliv, too.

I've never been and never will be the salesperson type, and it feels really strange to be talking the way this must sound! But Reliv speaks for itself. I think it is not only the answer for Erik's declining health, but maybe, just maybe, a financial answer as well. Medical bills and other issues have near to bankrupted us. Very odd that Reliv came along when it did; truly seems to be an answer to prayer.

Anyway, if you are interested in learning more, you can visit Reliv.com and I'll help you hear some true stories from people who's health was in the sewer and Reliv brought them,naturally,out.

Even with the best grass-fed meats, milk products, and our organic,home-grown veggies, the simple fact is, we can't get complete nutrition, and that is where Reliv comes in. You give the body everything it needs, as the good Lord intended,and it's amazing what it can do!

One person told me that Reliv is part of God's work,and I think she's right!

Best of everything to you and your family. -M

Yeoman said...

Let's break your problem down a bit and see where that takes us.

1. What is your Associate of Arts in?

2. What have you done in connection with your ministry jobs? I know that you have mentioned it here before, but mention it again.

3. What's the economic base of your area? That one makes a huge difference. I know that in my own case, when looking at career alternatives, I tended to get suggestions, from those elsewhere, that were wholly inapplicable here.

4. As odd as it may seem, have you taken any of those vocation suitability type tests? You might want to. There's some online. I know that in my case, the odd thing is that I usually get pretty consistent results, which is somewhat revealing. The office job I have always shows up, which miffs me, for one thing.

5. What are your parameters for the job? Again, in my own experience I had a Bachelor of Science in one field and couldn't find a job in it, due to the local economy. I then went back to law school as I'd never heard of an unemployed lawyer (I have now, there's lots of them). The point is, I wasn't thinking it out very well, as getting a job seemed paramount. True, we need work, unless we're independently wealthy, but keep your eye on the long term ball.

As a query (not a suggestion, just a questions) are there any jobs nearby where you could work for local farmers? Around here, those types of jobs are low paying, and if so there, you might not find them economically suitable, but I note that as you've noted that you're in the gaining experience category, and that would get you both cash and experience. Frankly, if I could go back myself, I might have taken ranch work, as low paying as it was, as it would have gotten my foot in the door some places and would have gotten me a lot of experience.

Finally, if you are contemplating a big career shift (and I don't know that you are) make sure that you really understand what the anticipated career is like before you are so far in you cannot get out. Most casual connections in anyone career are dishonest about their careers. You'll only rarely find a critic of a career from a casual associate, as they have a vested interest in camouflaging any problems. So if you are making a big leap, make an effort to get the real inside knowledge on what the new field will be like.

Christina said...

48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Mondays, both by Dan Miller. They revolutionized my thinking about job seeking and work.

Rich said...

Don't undersell your abilities or skills by implying to prospective employers that you are unsure about "...how my past experience translates into a job in the secular world...".

You have developed a number of entrepreneurial skills and a work ethic by starting your farm that should be valuable to a number of employers (Isn't that why farm kids have a reputation for being good workers?).

Depending on how long term a job position your desire, looking for some sort of night shift job might be an advantage when running your farm. Farm work could be done during the day, while you work at night. Long term it could be miserable to work the night shift, but as a temporary job until the farm gets up and running it might be advantageous to seek a job with unconventional work hours.

Good luck in your job search.

Ryan said...

As Dave Ramsey says in every "need a job" call. Go get and read the book 48 days to the work you love by Dan Miller

Anonymous said...

Ethan,
Go to the IowaWorks (where I am currently temping) website and use the advance search feature.

www.iowajobs.org

I will keep my eye open for any jobs for you.

Good Luck

Carolyn

TJ said...

check w/ five star they are to the south of where brookes trucking used to be . At the corner just east of the John Deere dealership on the left side of the road. They do all sorts of manufacturing. Good luck..

David N said...

I agree with Rich not to undersell yourself. I had a conversation with a friend a couple months ago who is needing to move up in the pay scale, but feels that he is stuck because of his previous professions/experience. From my own experience. I told him that he had a lot of things going for him that even highly educated people may not have. i.e. Strong work ethic, intelligence, good attendance record, so on and so forth.

As a manager I would much rather hire somebody with the capacity to learn the job rather than somebody who has all the credentials, but is lazy.

As far as your degree goes, sometimes just having it makes the difference. I have a bachelors in Modern Music Ministry from a no-name music school in Memphis. That degree is totally useless except for the fact that it is a degree!! Once I realized that, I was able to leverage my degree (the piece of paper), not necessarily what it was in.

Just a thought for a job option, since you live some-what close to Des Moines, I recently became a Quality Assurance Manager for a small local company. Quality Assurance (Quality Control) is a great 8-5 type job that can pay very well. Anyways just a thought.

Good luck and keep us updated!

Anonymous said...

Ethan,

You don't know me from Adam, but I have followed your blog on-and-off for the past couple of years.

My question for you is this : is there any way you could combine your passion for farming with your passion for serving young people in ministry? Something like a YoungLife camp with a farming focus...

Our family will pray for you.

All the best,
Ed

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