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* On searching

December 16, 2018

Search,” it’s an interesting word. I’m in the midst of it. Again.

I once worked for an organization whose first name was this. What does it actually mean? “Search – to look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find or discover something.” “Carefully” and “thoroughly” are big words. They indicate it’s not just looking casually, even into or over, but this done to a deeper extent. More deliberately. Taking longer. Learning more. Pondering.

Regarding the organization I worked with which was named “Search Institute,” it had originally been established to carefully and thoroughly look at issues related to Christian youth ministry. Over time this had broadened out to positive youth development (PYD). We were a staff of about 40 or so broken into about 5 or so different teams while I was there. Each working with PYD from a different perspective.

At present, my own search “institute” is just me. Moi. One team of one. Along with several search engines which help me find possible new opportunities. Which I send applications out to which mostly remain unanswered. Now some are still in process, but that’s an unknown as well. So in a way it’s like sound which doesn’t echo back. A conversation where only one is talking, making a case about their value, without knowing if the other party is even listening (have they looked at my materials yet? did they look at my materials and decide no? if no, how much of my materials did they actually look at?). As more and more requests go out, it’s too easy, if you’re not careful, for each lack of response to subtract a little from what you started with, indeed of who you are. Because offering your time and talents to an organization is a personal thing to do.

One needs to remember some organizations are looking for very specific people. I was told the last time I was doing this, someone as unique as a “purple cow.” As in there is probably only one person out of hundreds who fits the job. Which most certainly means one shouldn’t personalize it all. 

So what are the knowns?

  • currently unemployed. I know how long this has been. (I don’t know how long this will be.)
  • currently searching for what comes next. Have found about 20 or so possibilities, with resumes out to about 15. Three I sent out in October so most likely no longer in play, another 10 or so still in play–maybe. 

And the unknowns:

  • lots, as in too many questions (what comes next? for whom? how long will this take? etc.)
  • I have very little ability to answer any of the above unknowns. Only very loosely in terms of where I apply

So what to do? Live in the moment. Keep trying. Don’t personalize. Trust the next part of my career will unfold. Because it will. In fact, you could say it’s already on its way.

And find other things to do as well. As life is so much more than just a job.

As to the question “Worry?” The great response is, “Will it help?”

The answer, of course, is, “No.” 

What I will need to do is reread this as necessary, probably at least once per week.

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