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Posts tagged ‘jobs’

My new Job

Ever since I got my new job everyone has been asking if I like it or not and I realized that I haven’t shared much about it. Some of that has to do with fear, fear of losing a job I like and some of that has to do with HIPPA and sharing just enough but not too much.

So let’s start with the fear. My last job was ridiculous, lots of pressure for no reason. Sure students taking tests are important but not that important. This job is really important. I’m advocating for people that need help advocating for themselves, I’m part of the checks and balances system that makes sure that they are being treated like people and that they are safe, have comfort, are healthy and have some security. My job is important and I really like doing it and I don’t want to lose it. I’m still in that 90 day period which was when I got fired from my old job. The first 30 days of this job I was on edge, because I made myself that way. No one else did that. I did it to myself. My boss is very nice and she keeps reassuring me at every turn. I’ve settled a little bit because I’m learning the ropes and things are making sense and my case load is starting to grow. Plus my co-workers allow for an atmosphere that allows you  to ask questions and to learn more and more as you go. I love that.

HIPPA is a system of importance but it makes sharing things about my job kind of ridiculous but I can give you some generalities without any specifics :). Most of the time I work in an office with right now 13 on my case load with an eventuality of possibly 30. I make sure that all the paperwork is done for Medicaid, Medicare, and DMH (Department of Mental Health). I also check on my people and go and visit them throughout the year. The frequency of my visits depends on each individual’s personal plan. I visit them in their home, at their work, or at an activity center. I visit with them to make sure that they: are safe, are comfortable, have security (has more to do with money than with safety) and that their health needs are being met.

The people on my caseload are awesome. And they are PEOPLE! They are not their disability. How we talk about people matters.

My office is actually in the same building as the Sheltered Workshop which gives jobs to individuals that can work and choose to do that in an atmosphere that is built for them. Some work in the job prep section that teaches them how to do the job. Some work on finish work like making tables for those in the workshop or making things to be sold in craft shows. Some work in the section that does all the recycling. They work hard and they make a wage. The finishing area is where the ice machine is located so I see the individuals that work in there more often than those that work out in the recycling center. I talk with them every day and they tell me about what they are working on with such pride.  It’s awesome and they look forward to seeing me everyday. It really is nice.

I like my job. I understand it’s importance. I have a 2nd cousin named Brianna who has Sturge-Weber. She had a Hemispherectomy a few years ago and it really helped her because she was able to learn where previously that was not a possibility and it stopped her seizures. I love her. She loves to do all the fun things: watch Disney movies, color, and play with animals and kids. She’s fun. She’s 18 or so (sorry I can’t remember) but functions more like a 12 year old. In the days of the Habilitation Centers she would have been dropped off at the front gate of a large facility and never picked up again.

There is a Habilitation Center in the town of Marshall, where I work, and it saddens me. Luckily it is no longer used as a habilitation center and it is slowly closing it’s doors. It has a long history that saddens me, people simply didn’t know what to do with people with disabilities but that is not how we treat people and they are learning that there are better ways to treat individuals.

I’m really glad that the life of the Habilitation Center is not the life for Brianna and I’m really glad that I look out for people and make sure that it is never again. I love that individuals are given every freedom that they can possibly have. Some live on their own in apartments, or in their own homes. Some live with other people in group homes, like having house mates. And some simply cannot live on their own and need full time care and provided that in the least restrictive environment as possible. We work to do the best for each individual and we do what is best for them based on their needs.

I really like my job and I’m hoping to do a good job and keep it. So far, so good. This week we are hosting a Winter Ball and it should be a lot of fun.

Here is a photo of the old Habilitation Center (remember these people were just housed and were not allowed to do really anything, they lived and died on this land). 

Here’s a link to an old article that explains the closing down of Habilitation Centers: article

So that’s my job. I don’t provide services but I make sure that people are receiving the services that they need so that they can live a full quality life.

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Getting Fired Really Messed Me Up

I went to a job fair at the beginning of this week. Imagine walking into a room filled with tables and booths and everything there is not for you.
For this to make sense I have to explain my short stint in telemarketing. I got a job in Pittsburg, KS during college. It was a time in my life where I did anything because I needed money. I worked for a DayCare with questionable ethics and practices that still haunts my nightmares and I lasted there a year. This telemarketing job paid really well for a job back then $15. It was way above the $5/hr minimum wage and I was positive I could do it. They trained us in big groups and showed us the script and how to keep people talking no matter how many times they said no. I lasted a whopping 8 hrs and never went back. I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t just that people would be constantly rejecting me, it was that I would be pushing credit cards on people when I knew credit cards were the root of all evil.
Each booth at this job fair was filled with things no one needs. I’m not a seller. I can get people to donate to non profits and causes I believe in but I cannot convince them to get insurance or use a credit card that will get them in debt faster than they can pay it off and get a one-two-punch to their ego and pride for their troubles.
I walked into that job fair, around all the tables and right out the door. I somehow managed to walk right into the path of the organizer. She asked me what I thought of the job fair and I told her the truth, that it didn’t provide what I (a highly educated person) was looking for. So she asked me if I talked to the colleges that were there to see if they had positions at their colleges available. I hadn’t thought of that so I turned right around and walked right back in. I talked to all the schools represented and I might have made some connections which was great, although not the purpose or meat of this post.
Getting fired really messed with me. It messed with my confidence in myself. I love working on college campuses and for months I have felt terrified and inadequate.
How do I put a spin on getting fired when it still doesn’t make sense to me. Yes I made mistakes, I completely own up to that. I hated my job because the fear of getting fired was always on my mind. Every screw up was amplified. Every mistake was like a life or death situation, except it wasn’t. I was working in a testing center, following procedures that didn’t make sense. Testing for students for class placement. Not blood tests. Not dying patients.
I was also working a 40hr per week chaplaincy where if I made a mistake I could be sued. And guess what, I shined in that situation. I was a great chaplain. But I wasn’t a great testing center employee. I made lots of mistakes, nothing life threatening but they wanted me gone because of them and honestly the stress of a 20hr per week job was off the charts and I wanted it to be done.
That job messed with my brain. It made me think I was unworthy to work on a college campus. Now I’m thinking I can. Now I’m thinking I don’t want that job to best me. Now I’m thinking that I can’t do mind numbing work. I need something that allows me to actually help people and isn’t wrapped up in processes that don’t make sense.
This job/ situation will not be the end of me, because I simply won’t let it.
I’m better than that.
I love to help students and people in general so I need to find a position that puts my skills and desires and passions to good use. Now if I could only find it quickly 🙂

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Today’s applications/ resumes

Just for fun today I thought I would post about the resumes and cover letters I sent out today and the ones I didn’t. In my times of unemployment I feel like the most asked question is, “What are you applying for?” To which I often respond, “What am I not applying for?”

Truth be told, I’ll apply to almost anything, even if I’m not qualified. To these in my cover letter I explain why I’m applying even though I do not meet their qualifications. I lay down my passion and my other qualifications and how they would assist me in the position and I beg them (that might be a little strong but you get the idea) to please consider me for this position. To look beyond my un-qualification and see that I might just be the person they are looking for.

The first job I applied for today is with Community Linc. It’s a job in fundraising and research and would have a good deal to with writing and anyone that knows me, knows that I love to write.

The jobs I don’t apply for are the ones that I really don’t meet their qualifications and there is no way to get around them. For instance there was a transitional coach position open today but you need to have a social work degree (and there’s no give, sometimes there is give and they list other degrees they are willing to accept) and you need to have a license in social work. Those two things I do not have. But if you do you might check out this job opportunity on the nonprofit connect page: http://www.npconnect.org/jobs?cl_v=ra&cl_aid=831387

I also don’t apply for jobs that are offering pay way below what I want. For instance, there’s a job today: Youth Volunteer Team Leader but it is only providing a stipend and that stipend is way below the poverty line. It’s also a full time job with flexible not set hours so it would not lend itself to having another job with it. I apply to full time and part time gigs in the hopes that even if I get a part time gig I can get another part time with it and hopefully make enough to stay afloat. But below the poverty line, full time with flexible hours is not conducive to working another job to get above the poverty line, so I passed on this one too.

I get daily emails from CareerBulider, Monster.com, Indeed.com, and Nonprofit Connect. Nonprofit Connect usually has stuff I want to apply for each day but the rest are usually way off the mark. The kind of job stuff they send me is complete crap and no where near what I want to be doing. It’s very annoying to open their emails because it feels like a waste of time but every once in a while there will be one job that might be worth my time so I continue every day to open the millions of emails I get in the hopes that there might be one job opportunity on the page that I might want.

Here is another social work ad for today, again I don’t qualify but maybe you do: http://www.npconnect.org/jobs?cl_v=ra&cl_aid=831379

The last thing I applied for today was an Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator with Swope Community Health Care. It’s the last thing I applied for today because it took me an entire hour to fill out. Long applications really take it out of me but obviously I thought this one was worth it.

And that’s today’s applications and resumes. I spent about 2 and a half hours today working on this stuff. It’s enough to keep me energized and continue to work the next day but not too much that I feel depressed and want to quit searching.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy

The Decision to Move

People have been asking me for days what has triggered my decision to move to Kansas. Do I have a job lined up? No but I’m looking. What is my plan? My plan is to do CPE, try to do some ministry either part-time or on a volunteer basis, and work part-time.

I am moving home, to my parents’ house. With that comes the stigma that all 30 somethings have to deal with when moving back in with their parents. Am I a failure? No, I’ve tried really hard to find a job with no luck so that lie will not reign in me.

In essence my parents are my new roommates. It’s funny to think of it like that but they are. I’m not the same girl who was living there ages ago. I’m different. They’re different.

I’m returning home, but it’s different. I’m not returning to a child’s room nor am I returning as a child. I will always be their daughter but I’m not in my 20s or my teens any more.

When I think about moving back in with my parents I think about how I will decorate my room. I think about how I will add my art and where I will put my things. When I lived with my parents before they owned all the things that were in that room. They paid for each piece of it but now I will be bringing things I made or purchased. I don’t know if I am explaining this correctly but it will be different.

I asked my father if I could move in with them and he said yes. My mom has been offering for months but I needed to ask, I needed to make the decision. I needed to let them know that I wanted this and that I am not coming back with shame in my heart but with thanksgiving for all the things they have done for me.

I’m actually looking forward to that return as well. I’m looking forward to rediscovering what Kansas City has to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing things there with new eyes. I’m no longer a tourist or someone visiting on vacation but a resident, even if it is just for a little while.

When I left Kansas, I left to go to Seminary and to really figure out who I was. I know who I am now. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know how strong I am. I know my insides and my outsides. I know how amazing I am and what a trailblazer I am in my field. I know that I am unique and I know that I still have lots of growing to do. I am returning as a strong woman who desires to get closer to her family and to explore what Kansas City has to offer me.

When I made this decision I had to think about everything I would have to give up and everything I would gain. I had to consider the friends I would leave behind.

I was having dinner with my friend Betsy the other day and I told her that I couldn’t choose to stay because of the friendships I have made. Some of my friends are married and some are single but my friends are not going to choose to stay in a city because I’m there and I can’t do that either.

I have loved living in Pasadena and I will surely miss all my friends and the amazing weather. I think this year we have had more rain than ever (it’s even raining now) and we have had more storms this year than ever and I have loved every minute of it. I love storms. I love listening to rain and hearing thunder. I know some people hate storms but I love them. I’m not a fan of snow but you live with what you have to.

I’m not saying that Kansas will be my permanent residence, it may be my home base or it may not. If I’m willing to follow God wherever he leads I have to be willing to leave my comfort zone, I have to be willing to leave the safety of my home and go somewhere new, somewhere different.

I’m excited to go and see what life will be like for a while. The future is wide open and I don’t know what is out there but I am excited to give it a try. I want to try to see what ministry opportunites are available in my old church or churches in the Kansas City area. I want to see what kind of fun things I can do.

I have felt God saying for a long time that I’m not meant to stay in one church. I’m meant to reach the lost and they are located everywhere. I’ve done two internships in two different churches and I loved both of them.

I’m excited to see what God will do with me in Kansas. I am sad to leave my roommate and my friends but I’m looking forward to the unknown.

I’m truly at peace with this decision. It feels like the right thing to do and the right moment to do it.

God’s Faithfulness #5: Becoming Ms. Waggoner, teacher at Indian Woods

Here’s a recap of 1-4 just in case you have missed them.

1. God held my heart

2. Surgery when needed

3.Food on the table

4. Internships at the last second

Today is #5:

5. Becoming Ms. Waggoner, teacher at Indian Woods. After I graduated from undergrad God got me a job. It took a while but God did finally come through so there is no reason that God won’t get me a job soon right?

Doubts aside there was a time many years ago that God put me in a teaching position. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English Education in 2004. I walked with my class at graduation and that summer I had one more class I had to complete which meant that I got my teaching credential after my friends, after the school year started.

I went on many interviews. I did the group interviews and I did several interviews for teaching positions in all the school districts in my area (3).

I had an interview at my old high school that was 90 minutes long and I didn’t get that job. I had another interview after a woman that obviously got the job that lasted about 20 minutes and then I had a surprising interview that lasted 3o minutes.

I went into the interview not caring. After all I had cared for so many interviews and had never gotten the job so I figured a game change was in order.

I walked into that interview assuming I wasn’t going to get it. I laughed and I was completely relaxed. Later that day I got the call that they were checking out my references (which is awesome because who calls your references if they don’t want to hire you?). After they called my references they hired me. Turns out that interview at the school that lasted 20 minutes was worth it. The principal from that school called the principal at Indian Woods and recommended me.

It was great. I worked at Finish Line and was a substitute teacher until I finally got the job at Indian Woods. That job taught me so much and the people I met there were awesome.

It was a great honor to be there and to be hired there. I am proud of my previous career. I loved my time at Indian Woods and I was glad when it ended as well. Teaching in a school setting was not where my life was headed.

I teach now but in a different capacity. I teach ministry. I teach how to write papers but to grad students instead of 7th graders. I’m still a teacher but in a different way.

God came through before and got me a job that taught me skills that I still bring to the table: flexibility, caring heart, creativity and many other things.

I was blessed by my time at Indian Woods and I’m really glad that God came through that time. I hopefully that memory can help me this week as I continue to search for the right position for me.

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