Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some Interesting New Job Postings...

I come across some less common job postings from time to time in the Indianapolis area, so I've decided to pass them along as I find them. Let me know if any of them sound intriguing.

Director of Public Engagement & Community Outreach, Lutheran Child and Family Services - Develop strategies to improve community awareness. Manage special events as directed by the agency and manage staff from the referral relations and admission office. Devise communication material on behalf of Exec. Dir. and manage content of LCFS website. Bachelor’s degree in Marketing (Master’s preferred) or other related field. 3-5 yrs experience in marketing and/or community outreach. Valid Indiana Driver’s license and clean driving record. Ability to work some evenings/weekends, with the possibility of limited overnight travel. Respond by Aug 31 with completed application, and 3 prof references to: Human Resources, Lutheran Child and Family Services, 1525 N. Ritter Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46219. FMI visit

Executive Director, Community Caring Foundation – Ministry to the elderly seeking high energy, self starter with non profit management experience for small, non-profit, organization serving Hamilton County. Responsible for strategic plan implementation, fundraising, marketing, partnership development and program expansion. Request full job description and submit cover letter, resume and salary history at: or fax to 317-843-5369.

Youth & Children's Minister, North United Methodist Church - As a large metropolitan church at a diverse intersection in urban Indianapolis, we strive to be a place where a variety of spiritual journeys meet. We are searching for a full-time minister of children and youth with dreams and vision for growing and developing an already dynamic program. Responsibilities include oversight, supervision, and planning for all aspects of children and youth ministry. Candidates should have a desire to share the love of Christ with young people and enable them to live out their faith in the world. For more information, visit Mail application to Children and Youth Minister Search Committee, North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208, or e-mail

Public Relations/Communications Director, Town of Fishers - Communicate information and gather citizen feedback about the Town through various media and public forums. Organizes public relations events and programs and is involved in crisis management communication. Must have college degree in public relations, communications or equivalent and 4 yrs experience with emphasis on media relations, writing skills and/or special event coordination. APR certification preferred. Should be proficient with Microsoft products, Adobe Photoshop, Pagemaker and Acrobat or ability to learn. Submit resume or application to: 1 Municipal Drive, Fishers, IN 46038, fax (317) 595-3110, or e-mail to:

Director Member and External Relations, Indiana Grantmakers Alliance - Direct activities that support and foster positive relations with Indiana Grantmakers Alliance's key stakeholders, including grantmaking members, the larger organized philanthropic sector in Indiana, policy makers, media, and the general public. This includes activities to develop and secure revenue to support achievement of Indiana Grantmakers Alliance's mission. Respond with cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: Sarah Geis at by September 15, 2007. See full job description at

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Perfect Labor Storm

Crazymakers...Learning to Recognize Them

Beth and I are working through an interesting little book by Julia Cameron called The Artist's Way. It's a workshop sort of book for people wanting to recover their creativity. As a want-to-be-artist I thought it would a good process to work through. She takes you to some interesting places along the way. Today she focused on a type of person that can rob you of your creative side. She calls the Crazymakers

She describes them this way. They are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive and powerfully persuasive. Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers, they are irresistible; so much to change, so many distractions...

Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are the star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker's whims.

Here's her list of descriptions:

Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules

Crazymakers expect special treatment

Crazymakers discount your reality

Crazymakers spend your time and money

Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with

Crazymakers are expert blamers

Crazymakers create dramas - but seldom where they belong

Crazymakers hate schedules - except their own

Crazymakers hate order

Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers

Of course I have to admit that we're all Crazymakers at times. But it did make me think about a few of the people I've known and know who as I step back fit the description.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Career Interview: Social Work

I'm starting a new feature this week. As a career counselor I get a unique glimpse into many different people's life work stories. I think one of the best way to evaluate your own career fit is to listen to what others do and how they feel about it. Today I'd like you to meet my friend Zoe.

Dave: In simple terms, what exactly is it you do?

Zoe: I am a Social Worker and presently supervise a foster care department. My responsibilities include interviewing, hiring and training employees; planning, assigning and directing work; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

I also assist in the recruitment, training, licensing and re-certification of foster parent providers and oversee our foster parent training. I ensure our compliance to our guidelines and process our referrals for placement.

Most importantly I ensure that out children are placed in properly trained and licensed foster homes; make sure that 24 hour on-call support is provided for our regional foster care providers; and when needed, I also provide crisis intervention.

Dave: Who do you work for?

Zoe: Christian Children's Home of Ohio

Dave: On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the job from hell and 10 being heaven on earth) how would you rank your career satisfaction and why?

Zoe: At this time I would have to say an 8. From the time that I was in 8th grade, I knew that I wanted to be working with and for children. About 13 years ago God let me know that my calling is working with and encouraging children in whatever way I can. That's why I chose Social Work for my career.

Dave: What's most gratifying about what you do?

Zoe: At this present time, it's knowing that I'm putting children into safe environments as they are coming out of unsafe ones. It’s seeing God give me an encouraging word for a child and giving children what I call jewels from Heaven. It’s having the opportunity to encourage a child in the midst of pain and offering them hope and watching them actually walking away with hope.

Dave: What's most frustrating or dissatisfying?

Zoe: The department not having enough money to really do the job that we could be doing. All the demands of paperwork that is now involved with Medicaid and insurance.

Dave: If someone (either a student or mid-career transition type person) wanted to pursue a similar career what steps would you suggest to them?

Zoe: I would encourage them to get their Master's Degree in Social Work because there are so many more opportunities and positions that open up for you. If you don't like paperwork and required deadlines for its completion then don't choose Social Work as a career.

Are they stupid or what?

I just came across this interesting assessment of the BENEFITS of hiring a 50 plus job seeker. Being in that crowd myself, it was both compelling and encouraging. Maybe more people my age who are seeking their next job need to make this a greater selling point.

The post was written by Wendy at Gen Plus. She gives several reasons that she gleaned for hiring a 50 plus person.

  1. Huge gain in terms of training time. The experience of the mature worker reduces the amount of time it takes to get a new hire up and running.
  2. Experience. The mature worker can actually make decisions - generally good ones-- based on a sound workplace background, which results in fewer costly mistakes.
  3. Longevity. With the costs of continually retraining new staff resulting in both lost time and revenues, a mature worker is more likely to stick around if they are satisfied with their compensation, company culture and benefits. Career path is not necessarily the all important carrot dangling from the stick.
  4. Value of time spent equals value-added. The younger worker may be willing to put in a 12 hour day, but will not necessarily produce the results that a more mature worker would produce in a much shorter time. If a mature worker can come to a conclusion in twenty minutes that a "green" worker would need a day to figure out, then "who cares how much time they put into the job? They get results!"

From the employer/hiring perspective this can make some good sense and may show a need to rethink some recruiting strategies. From the job seeker perspective, maybe this is just the bit of ammunition that one's flagging self-confidence needs to market your perceived liability as a huge asset.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Re-Graced and Re-Privileged

This morning I was at Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Fishers, Indiana. CTS is one of the churches I frequent these days and one of the main reasons is Pastor Joe Freeman. Joe describes himself as the world's tallest leprechaun. He graduated from Yale Divinity School and knew Henri Nouwen personally. Joe is one of my favorite people and has helped to restore my trust in Christian leadership.

Today I was privileged to hear Joe share about marriage. That doesn't sound like any big deal. The reason this was so unusual is that Joe and his wife were divorced 7 years ago. He was serving at CTS at the time and amazingly the church decided among much pain and confusion that they wanted Joe to continue as their pastor. Today was the first time after the divorce 7 years ago that he felt ready to speak on the subject of marriage.

I'm proud to be associated with Joe and the gracious people at CTS who, in Joe's words, re-graced and re-privileged him to serve as their pastor. Click hear to listen to Joe's message.

Maybe someone you know would be encouraged by Joe's words and stories. If so, pass it on.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Quotes Today

I've decided to include a couple quotes today. One from me and one from someone else.

I'm moving my daughter down to IU today for her sophomore year. My son moved back on Monday. I just sent an email to a friend and this came out.

Life is all about change or participating in the changes of those we love it seems.

We are really experiencing the reality of how the transitions of those around us brings on changes for us too.

The second quote is from a little book I've been reading by Paul Ferrini called "Love Without Conditions". I read the chapter on Gratitude earlier this week and the statement below really stood out to me. I've entered into some unusual circumstances recently that have turned my world inside out, and for some reason this phrase keeps drawing me back to consider it. The circumstances I'm experiencing are VERY challenging and so this statement seems a little counter-intuitive to them. But it has helped me over and over to reframe what's going on. And here's the quote.

Gratitude is the choice to see the love of God in all things.

Have a great weekend and live in peace.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

When doors close...

I just got an email from a friend who updated me on his job search/adventure. He had been pursuing owning a Chik-fil-a franchise and had a couple of good interviews. But that's where it stopped. Makes me wonder what other's experience has been with buying into the franchise. Any way, that was in January and Chik-fil-a seems to have just dropped the ball. Went silent.

In retrospect, my friend is really content that it did. He just took a sweet job as an event planner with BCD Meetings & Incentives. It struck me again that when one door just won't open for us, it may be that there's something better down around the corner. I'm excited for my friend and really hope this turns out to be the career move he was looking for in the first place but just didn't know it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Penelope Trunk's Non-Traditional Career Advice

Penelope Trunk has just released the Brazen Careerist, a blog of not-too-conventional advice for achieving career goals. Penelope is a columnist at Yahoo Finance and the Boston Globe and is a former professional beach volleyball player.

Penelope is very open about her disdain for traditional career advice that might have mattered in another era but is outdated today. Instead she advocates that workers adopt an approach with the needs of today's workforce.

1. What has happened in the past 20 years to require a new approach to job/career hunting and what are some of the old rules that we need to toss out the window?

Trunk: There is no longer a ladder to climb that will occupy us in our work for forty years. So we have to find stability from within ourselves instead of from a company, and we also have to create our own challenges since a company is not responsible for our long-term development.

2. A generation ago "midlife crisis" was at the center of popular culture; now "quarter-life crisis" is working its way into mass awareness. Are they different aspects of the same existential dissatisfaction, or do you think each generation's problems are uniquely their own?

Young people have a much better chance of averting the quarterlife crisis than baby boomers had avoiding the midlife crisis. The crisis comes from not giving enough time and thought to figuring out who you are and what you need. We know now that if you take the time to earnestly do that, and you give yourself the chance to explore and make mistakes, then you probably won’t have a crisis.

3. What is "success" in the first decade of the 21st century?

Finding a place where you feel like you fit, at least for a bit. It’s not small task. It requires knowing about yourself and the world and figuring out the contexts that feel most right to you. And accepting that all that changes. For me, success is finding stability inside myself to have a sort of peace of mind while everything is shifting all the time.

4. You describe Gen X/Y as different from their boomer parents in that they will hop from job-to-job until they find work that will satisfy them. Is this a response to how they were raised (coddled and over-scheduled by “helicopter parents”), a reflection of their parents’ values (the 60’s generation), or a rebellion against the “organization man” existence they saw their workaholic parents maintain?

It’s a response to their parents telling them that their time is valuable and meaningful and that learning is a great thing to do with ones time. So young people expect to not waste their time doing stupid , meaningless work. The propensity is to job hop when there is no personal growth. This should come as a surprise to no one. If a baby boomer saw their kid watching TV after school, the baby boomer would say, “Get off the sofa and do something productive with yourself.” Their kids have internalized this value.

5. Your advice in many situations would be, I think, "don't look to your job for (happiness / fulfillment / status ...)." People didn't used to expect much more out of work than a check and security. What happened?

People realized that meaningless, unfulfilling work is a sad way to spend life. So there was a big movement, especially among Gen-Xers to do what you love to do – focus on fulfillment not money. Now we know, from positive psychology research, that fulfillment comes from personal relationships more than it comes from work. So we can all be more fulfilled now that we know were to look. This doesn’t mean that deadening jobs are good. It means that a job can’t make a life.

6. Are young workers putting too much pressure on themselves to find careers that are “fun, fulfilling, and accommodating for outside interests” at a time that it’s hard to just find a starter job that isn’t being outsourced to India? Is there something to be said for “paying your dues” and not expecting so much from an employer from the start?

There is nothing to be said for paying one’s dues. I don’t see the point. Paying for what? There is not a reliable ladder to climb to get to the reward. There is something to be said for laying off the deep soul search and just taking a job. Your job does not have to be your soul mate. And anyway, it’s very hard to guess what we’re going to like before we try it. So start trying stuff. Even jobs that you really don’t like will teach you something about yourself and about the workplace and will help you zero in on what would be right for you.

7. Are today’s workers setting themselves up to be disappointed when in 10-20 years hit midlife and look back and wonder why they are as fulfilled as they “should” be given all of the effort they put into finding a fulfilling life path?

We are all disappointed after 20 years. Anyone who isn’t disappointed is dishonest with themselves. Life is hard. It’s full of tradeoffs. We all struggle to align our tradeoffs with our values and still it is disappointing to have to say no to things.

8. How does your approach apply to women in middle age returning to the work force after taking time off to raise a family?

If men cut back their careers at the same time that women did, and they shared childcare responsibilities, then women would not have this problem because women would work part time and men would work part time.

9. Looking in your crystal ball, any predictions about what will be different when the children of Generation X and Y enter the work-force?

It will be totally unacceptable for people with children to work 80 hour weeks. Society will not tolerate it and people will not delude themselves that somehow that is okay for their kids.

(from interview at LifeTwo)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Should Students Take the ACT or SAT?

One of the most common questions students and their parents ask is whether students are more likely to score well on the ACT or the SAT? Some are advised to take both since there is no sure way to predict which test an individual student will do best on. But, there are some interesting opinions on this question, including those of John Katzman, founder and chairman of the Princeton Review.

John has worked with a lot of kids on the ACT and SAT, and describes his rule of thumb:

1) A student is bright but doesn’t work very hard. He or she is very verbal and loves puzzles. Suggest the SAT.

2) A student works really hard and learns a lot, but has trouble with tests. Suggest the ACT.

3) A student fits neither profile, and you need to make a quick decision. Suggest ACT if a girl and SAT if a guy.

Introducing the Crux

Last Sunday I went to church with my son and his girlfriend and Beth. They've been going to this new church this summer and they invited me to check it out. It's called the Crux. The average age was well under 30. The setup was really nice (although the AC was struggling to keep up with the heat. The music was awesome (really) and the main communicator, Daron Earlewine was one of the most gifted and thoughtful speakers I've ever head (really). Anyway, I've been a bit bored with the irrelevance of many of the things that pass for church now. That probably says as much about me as them, but this week I did something I hadn't done for a long time. I invited an 18 year old to church. I'm going again to see if the sophomore visit is as good as the freshman one and to see if my new friend will check out the Crux.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pick Your Main Verb Carefully!

I just stumbled across a great little site that makes me think. Now that's not hard to do, but the pictures and diagrams that Jessica Hagy posts on her site Indexed are elegant.

She describes her site as "a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math."

This is one of my favorite examples.