Lunching Professionally

20 01 2010

So ….. as some of you know, I’m not working for the time being.  This decision was finalized and came late in the 2009 just before Christmas.  My last day at the investment bank where I worked for the past six and a half years was last Wednesday.

They gave me a several wonderful send-offs, and I was truly touched by everything that was done in honor of my departure.

So, what next?  It would be very tempting to revel in my new found freedom and go off and get into who-knows-what kind of trouble (I can hear SIR and Sista girl saying “as opposed to what you do now?”), but I have decided to be very intentional about the next few weeks.

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21 09 2009

Oh …. my !!!!  Me at the Integrity Eucharist yesterday…..

Reverend boy

Guest blogger

10 08 2008

I have the privilege of being a guest blogger today over the Doorman Priest’s place while he is in Estonia for five weeks. Instead of a lectionary reflection, and since I am speaking to a different audience, I posted about how this former Baptist becomes an Episcopalian. If you are interested, please follow the link … I may also post it here at some point.

Life update

19 01 2008

Back in the fall, I spoke about a particularly bad day.  I found out I was getting a bad performance review at my job, and the same day I received a letter from the diocese asking me to withdraw from the discernment process for a time. Some important updates have happened since then…

On the job front, right before Christmas when my compensation for the year had been settled (and more importantly, the check cleared!), I told my boss that I wanted to transfer to another department.   He agreed, and when I got back from vacation two weeks ago, I started interviewing for other positions in the firm.  I spoke to HR and said that regardless of what position I took, I wanted to “try it out” for a couple of weeks and if it didn’t work for whatever reason, I would go into the floating pool (which is kind of like temping but you are fully employed by the firm) until I found something that would be suitable, and they were agreeable.  After all, I have been with my firm for over 5 years and worked for my former boss for 4 of those years, and so they were willing to do what it took to keep me.

I am going to be taking a position in the Marketing/Investor Relations area of the firm where I’ll be supporting two people who help raise money for our Private Equity and Real Estate funds.  Though there will be a personal assistant-type component to the job, I’ll be responsible for doing other “real work” stuff as well that requires you to use your brain.  After a couple of weeks, if I like it (and just as important, they are happy with the quality of my work) I will stay with this group.   In the future, I will probably be attending group meetings to put in my two cents to help streamline the work flow and general how-we-get-things-done type of things.   Most importantly, it seems like a good environment, and I know some of the people in the group already, and I think it will be a very positive change.

On the discernment front, the diocese said they wanted me to get some leadership experience and they want me to see a therapist.  I have never been in therapy (except for the bar called therapy near my apartment), and the diocese likes all of their aspirants to have spent some time with a therapist on a regular basis.  On the leadership side, I’m running the new Integrity chapter in NYC, which is going well, and I have found a therapist whom I feel comfortable with and my health insurance will cover a good chunk of the cost.  I’m pulled back from some of my duties at my parish, Immaculate Contraption so I can focus more on iNYC.  I’m also in the market for a spiritual director I can see once a month or so and I believe I am close to finding one.  I’ll also be meeting with Immaculate Contraption’s discernment committee every month for a brief touch base.

The challenge, like all things in NYC, is maintaining a sense of balance between work, outside activities, and social life, as well as scheduling!

So, it’s all good things 🙂  2008 is off to a great start.  Lots of transition, but life is all about change isn’t it?

Discerning the way forward

25 10 2007

So, I had my meeting to discuss a way forward in the discernment process … one of my priests went with me. We had a very candid discussion about my application and the findings that came out of my meetings to date. I thought that it was a very positive and productive meeting because we were able to come up with actionable ideas of projects and other things I can work on in my parish and the wider diocese. The tone of the meeting was very candid and cooperative. There was a great deal of clarity on all points of view, and most importantly, we came up with constructive ideas.

The bottom line, of course, is that I will withdraw my application for a time and hope to reactivate it in a year or so and come back to the diocese with the things I have worked on. I was told from the beginning this was a “great gift” and I got the impression from various folks that this is rare, if not unheard of.

I apparently have made some very positive impressions on quite a few people, or I would have been told “no” at this point or allowed to continue and then told “no” at a later date, neither of which would have been pleasant. But, I am taking this bit of news and our discussions today as a sign to pause and then resume our work at a later date.

While I remain disappointed that things have not gone as I would have liked or expected, I am grateful for the opportunity and the challenge to get “in the trenches.” I don’t know exactly how that will take shape as of yet, but we kicked around a few ideas that I had brought up. They were warmly received and I was encouraged to run with it.

Finally, I am ever mindful of St. Paul’s words, “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) God’s hand, I am sure is in all of this, but I admit I don’t entirely see how.  However, a great deal of fun and adventure is waiting to be had to discover what that hand is doing and where it is pointing. Or even, if that hand is a singing naked sock puppet!

Turning a corner

21 10 2007

Thanks again to everyone who expressed their support over the bad news received earlier this week. My “live” family and friends, particularly my Personal Atheist, Sista Girl, Beefeater, and most importantly, SIR, were invaluable in their encouragement.

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, the turnover for assistants in my boss’ office is very high. I have been working at that desk for 4 and a half years now, and prior to my arrival, the life expectancy for anyone working for him a six months to a year. While I have bucked the trend on that, my co-worker’s seat still experiences the same turnover. My current co-worker arrived in May being transferred/promoted from another area, and she told me on Friday that this week she is going to let my boss know that the current arrangement is not going to work out in the long-term, so she has put in for another transfer. And so the horrible trend of the revolving door in that office continues.

Ironically enough, that bit of news along with more encouragement from friends and SIR helped to pull me onto a bit of an upswing in my mood. As SIR said, “my stock just went up regardless of whether or not your boss likes it,” so I’m not quite as concerned about my year-end bonus as I was earlier this week, though I still expect it to be less. I have stayed in a horrible and toxic office environment for as long as I have because I did not want it to be a bad reflection with the Church. After all, I am a recent “convert,” having been confirmed in 2005 and raised as a Baptist. The ministry would also be my third career (Retail being the first, and the current one being the second), so the last thing I wanted was to give the Church any reason to think they’re a flavour of the month, so to speak. In light of a conversation I had with a good friend of mine, who is somewhat familiar with diocesan processes, he said that at this point, it should not be a factor, especially in light of the fact that I intend to stay the course with regards to the discernment process.

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Not a good day

17 10 2007

Received two bad pieces of news today.

I work as an Executive Assistant at a financial services firm and have worked for the same man for about 4 and a half years now. He’s very very difficult (think the movie Wall Street or the book Barbarians at the Gate) and has had a high turnover rate in his office before i came along. I handle his personal affairs and there is another assistant to handle his business affairs. The bad news is that he is submitting a bad year-end performance review. The past three years I have received very good ones and have also received nice year-end bonuses. When we sit down and go over the results of the review, I plan on having some rebuttal points for us to talk through. It’s just icing on the cake for a very tough month at the office anyway… i have been way way too busy and stressed to do things i really enjoy like writing these lectionary reflections and blogging, as well as doing church stuff or going to the gym. Grrrrr……

The other piece of bad news is that I heard from my diocese today regarding my discernment application. They want me to withdraw from the process for one or two years and, amongst other things, get more experience doing ministry type stuff (never mind my parish is like my second job), see a psychiatrist and a spiritual advisor, and save up more money for seminary. Saving more money and seeing a spiritual advisor are good things in and of themselves, but i question the whole psychiatrist thing and the experience stuff. I mean i’m on the altar guild, our outreach committee, and i started and co-ordinated refreshments for our Sunday evening service! And no offense, i’ve yet to meet anyone in the ministry who isn’t a little off. Who wants a boring priest?

I know things happen for a reason, and everything will sort itself out in the end, but it’s definitely one of those “what’s the point” kind of days.

UPDATE: I have commented below on what my next steps are to be