Friday, May 19, 2006

Be where you are

My life isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn good.

This weekend is the start of wedding niece-to-be's shower. I would not want to miss it for the world. But I also want to be somewhere else. At this very moment, a large group of friends is gathered 500 miles away for a fun weekend, and I had planned to be with them. I had to make a choice.

If life were perfect, we would not have to miss doing the things we want to do because of other things we want to do. Our schedules would never clash. But you cannot physically be two places at once. So I will make the most of where I am.

And who knows? Maybe there is a reason why this happened this way.

If I don't lose my nerve, I will do something tonight I could not have done it if I was 500 miles away...attend a social for over-35 singles at the local church.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Strange New World - Part IV

Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III

Why would I want to leave a very good job where I am highly valued? The key word in that sentence is "want".

I want to make more money.
I want to have an office instead of a cubicle.
I want to be considered a "real" manager.
I want to travel.
I want to advance.
I want to punish my boss when I don't think he's treating me right.

Some days the desire for those things is so powerful that I cannot imagine staying in my job one more day. And the next day those desires are gone, and I am perfectly content to be where I am.

That's the problem with "wants"...they are so tied up in emotions that they can change from one minute to the next, even when the underlying situation has not changed. So how do we know what's the best move for us to make? We don't.

But God does.

When I started this series a few weeks ago, I was absolutely sure I wanted that new job. And I did go to my boss to discuss it. Unlike the last time, he was reasonable, calm and professional. We discussed the details, and guess what? I'm not so perfect for the position after all. In my excitement, I had not fully considered what I would have to give up (school, my ability to work in Michigan when I want to so I can visit my family, my level of contact with the executives of the company). I gave it a few more days thought and decided not to apply.

But I didn't just give it thought. I prayed about it. I gave it to God, and was reminded that I am where I am because He wants me here. If God wanted me to change jobs, an opportunity would present itself in such a way that there would be little or no doubt about it.

So the strange new world I am exploring? It's not the next cool job that comes along. It's the world in which I take time every day to pray for God's guidance.

My meditate on and do His will, not mine.
To trust that I am right where He wants me to be.
To boldly go where God sents me.

Even if today it is just to my little cubicle, to do the work the company pays me for, and to do it in a way that glorifies God.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Strange New World - Part III

Read Part I
Read Part II

What I had not considered, due to my sometimes self-centered nature, is that maybe my boss was just having a bad day. Maybe I approached him at the worst possible time to tell him I wanted to apply for another job. I didn't really know him that well at the time, and perhaps could not read his moods.

An important part of interpersonal relations, whether at school or at work or at home, is knowing the right time to discuss a potentially difficult subject. Or how to deliver bad news. Not that we all have to be experts in human behavior to have a discussion with someone, or that you should put off bad news (because, as we say in project management, "bad news never gets better with age"). But knowing the right time and place can sometimes make the difference.

Looking back, I must admit that we were in the middle of a very important project. The pressure was high, and losing a member of his team at that time would have been very difficult for him. That does not excuse his behavior, because someone in a position of authority should never lose control like he did. But I think I understand why he was upset.

Fast-forward four years. We have been through a major reorganization of the department and many successful projects. Our department's reputation in the rest of the company is stellar...we are known for being on the leading edge of technology management. And I am a highly-valued member of the team.

So why would I want to leave?

to be continued