Friday, November 05, 2010

30 Days of Truth: III

Background on the 30 Days of Truth series here.

Day the Third: Something you have to forgive yourself for

Hmm, this is a thinker because, again, there's a lot to choose from. And I've been staring at this blinking cursor on and off for the last two hours, trying to decide what to write about. Here goes...

I need to forgive myself for not trusting my intuition approximately four years ago, when I was interviewing for a job that would become what I now consider the worst experience of my career -- worst experience of my life, really.

The job itself seemed like it was tailor-made for me, mixing my experience and skill in church fundraising with my passion for outreach ministry and community-church partnerships. The task -- raise a couple million dollars from ambiguously-defined sources -- seemed ambitious but the energy around the campaign and my enthusiasm to return to professional fundraising clouded my judgment, I think.

When I went in for my second interview and asked questions that should have been easy to answer with straightforward facts, and when those questions were answered with Yoda-like riddles and sanctimonious claptrap, my Spidey-sense went off, but still I overlooked it. And when I talked with the hiring committee members and they had no real support for the campaign other than "Our leaders met and think we can do it," and when I heard from others around town about how difficult the man who would be my boss is, the alarm buzzers went off, but still I overlooked it. When the members of this community which claims it seeks, welcomes, and values all people looked down on me and my home church, I got pissed, but still I overlooked it. And when I thought about each of the people I met during the interview process and realized that not one of them seemed interested in me as much as what I could do for them, the siren sounded and red light flashed, but still I overlooked it.

So now, when I look back over the almost-two-years that I lasted in that job and observe all the major breakdowns in communication, major breakdowns in love and support, major breakdowns in fundraising best practices, and just overall major breakdowns, I am able to pinpoint about ten distinct things that I overlooked during the hiring process which, if I had trusted my intuition sufficiently and overlooked my -- my what? enthusiasm? greed? need to be needed? -- my whatever, I could have saved myself a LOT of headaches, heartaches, and soulaches.

The way that job ended almost exactly two years ago today did some pretty severe damage to me, vocation-wise and Vocation-wise, self-esteem-wise and relationship-wise, and I'm only now feeling like I'm getting over that. On days when I get down on myself about where I am in my career and where I am financially and where I am interpersonally, it's easy to look back on the way I overlooked my intuition and, in a very real way, sold out for a good-paying, important-sounding job.

My self-forgiveness for that is a work in progress. Some days are better than others, but the long-term prognosis is good, I think. Beats the alternative, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderfully introspective and honest post. Thank you for sharing, Scott.